By Lauren Smith
When students come to Merrimack College, they are named “warriors.” It’s a nickname mainly used to describe the school’s athletes. But every student at Merrimack has their own battle and every student has a reason why they are a true warrior. Every edition, The Beacon will talk to a student to find out what makes them who they are and why they see themselves as a warrior.
So what makes you a real warrior? Everyone has a story. Do you have anything you wan to talk about first off that makes you, you? What obstacles have you had to overcome?
I’d say I’m a very hard worker. I don’t like to cheat and I like working for what I get. Sometimes I’ll be in the library all day as long as I can grow to understand the topics in class or lessons they’re trying to teach me, and even though I get made fun of jokingly by my friends, I still do it because I’m passionate.
How do you maintain a hard working person at school?
When I first came to Merrimack, they had put me in the Compass program which truthfully, I hated, but it actually really helped me focus and come to realize I need to just really focus on my work ethic and goals. In high school, I took everything as a joke and kind of just blew by it, and didn’t really care as long as I got higher than a C+ because I saw it as C’s get you degrees, which my view on that has changed drastically since then.
Why do you want to maintain being a hardworking person?
I want to get the best out of my education, my mom’s paying for me to go here, and I feel like I owe it to her and myself; I really just want to make her proud. Merrimack was my top school, and it was the one I really wanted to go to ever since I visited because I loved the campus, and my mom was so excited because every other school we had visited I hated…It was mostly between Merrimack and Sacred Heart but the day I got the letter, I told my mom I didn’t get in and she started crying because she knew how badly I wanted to come here. I quickly told her I was joking and then I made my decision to come to Merrimack. I somehow always found my way into trouble my senior year of highschool, and so it brew into my mom just no longer trusting me. But, ever since I came to Merrimack and found my niche, I realized I needed to step up my game, my relationship with her has really been great. I appreciate her so much because coming out of college I will barely have many loans to pay off, and I just want to show her how much I’ve matured while being here at Merrimack, while also being a well respected kid that people know on campus. She amazes me because it’s truthfully all her doing it, putting 3 boys through college by herself because my dad died of cancer when I was seven. We’ve all always been so close after that. She wants myself and my brothers who go to Stonehill to just have a great time at school and to make a lot of memories since she only went to a 2 year college so she never really got the “college experience”.
Do you ever feel like you have to prove that you’re a hard working person?
I guess mostly to myself I like to prove that especially over the two years I’ve been here I’ve really matured and I see kids here at school who have that dream job in mind but they probably will never get it because they didn’t apply themselves. Sometimes it sucks because they’ll just fall back on their parents as support to get them into whatever internship or job they want, but I really just want to work for my career. They won’t ever know what hard work is and I’d rather learn what it is while at school than in the real world when you don’t have the encouragement of your peers and family members to succeed.
How have your family and friend ties helped you as I know you and your family are pretty close. How did they shape you as a person?
My family, mostly my mom, basically taught me to just make friends with people who like me for who I am, to be myself, always. I like making friends with people who enjoy doing the same things as I do, who have the same humor, and goals as well… I’d also say that my Grandpa is another big role model in my life, he’s always been there for my brothers and I since birth. I’d say I’m the favorite, we get breakfast when I’m home every Wednesday and Saturday, and just talk about life and golf. He’s taught me so much in life, I helped him tile and put together his bathroom this past summer, he taught me to be the hard working person I am today because he came from nothing; just a single farm that sold beets. He tells me all these stories of how he would walk miles to get an education at Stonehill, he’s just such an inspiring person. I’d say he also stepped up in my life so much when my dad passed away; he went to every single one of my games as a kid, played basketball and baseball with me, and I just appreciate everything him and my Nana have done for my brothers, my mom, and I. He got me into the idea of wanting to do healthcare, and so right now I’m working for this healthcare facility down the street from Merrimack, and he just keeps telling me to volunteer, volunteer, volunteer. “Show initiative and you’ll make it big.”
I’d also say my best friends and roommates all shape me to be the best version of myself and we all also share the same interests, like sports and we enjoy goofing around, but when it comes down to school work we have each other’s backs and we’ll push each other to succeed; to do whatever it takes to graduate on time with a great GPA, all together. Also, I’d say being an Orientation Leader has shaped me too, taught me to just be a good guy; I want people to see me and know they can just come up to me and say hi because I’m pretty outgoing and welcoming. I like to try and raise the standard for our class to its highest ability. I want to really embody the idea of being a Warrior here at Merrimack. Being an Orientation Leader has been the best experience and I want everyone to be able to have that experience and that all starts with Orientation, I want them to see how great this school is and how even more great their next four years are bound to be.
You mentioned that you and your friends all have similar goals?
Yeah, we all want to thrive and be successful after school, ultimately live life to the best of our abilities, have a family with a wife, kids, and dogs. We talk about it all the time, and if I were to ever have a daughter, she’d definitely break my heart, I’d never want her to leave the house for college. I guess, ultimately, I just want all my handwork to really pay off one day.