Student Spotlights

Brigid Burns

Brigid Burns (Class of 2020)

South Buffalo, N.Y.

Being halfway through my last semester of college, I’ve been able to reflect on the past few years and how much attending Niagara University has made an impact on my life.

As many people are in their freshman year, I was incredibly nervous to see what my college experience had in store for me. After moving into my residence hall and saying goodbye to my family, those nerve-wracking feelings still lingered. I was scared but, at the same time, I felt liberated.

I was excited to see how independent I would become, and how much growth would come from living on my own. Freshman year taught me not to be afraid to try new things, and that even if I failed at something, I had time to try and try again.

One way I learned this lesson was through the Academic Exploration Program. Coming in to Niagara, I didn’t have a major picked out but, with this program, I was able to find which classes I enjoyed through trial and error, further allowing me to find a major that was right for me.

With sophomore and junior year, I expanded my horizons and joined different clubs, worked at a variety of events, such as open houses and table talks, and applied for leadership positions across campus. I attained the secretary and vice president roles in NU Acapella over a couple of semesters, and was also offered an orientation leader job here at Niagara.

These college years were some of the best times of my life, and provided experiences for me that I would’ve never dreamed of having. For instance, I went on a mission trip to Houston, Texas, to help fix up houses after Hurricane Harvey. I was able to do this through NU’s Brothers and Sisters in Christ program, and it helped me to grow spiritually and humble myself when it came to not taking things for granted. I learned that I had a special place in my heart for helping people and seeing how the world worked, which is why I was glad to set my heart on majoring in sociology.

With it being my senior year, my last year at Niagara, I decided to go all in with joining different things across campus. This past summer before starting senior year, I finished my orientation leader role and was able to be a Niagara Plunge leader at Niagara. This helped me to make connections with more incoming students, and faculty and gave me a strong mentor role when it came to building relationships with students.

Brigid smiling with NU Plunge participants

I also applied for the co-chair position for our Late Nite events on campus. Through this role, I was able to plan events for every Friday night with my committee that students could attend on campus. Being a co-chair gave me a position on Niagara’s Campus Programming Board E-Board as well as on our Traditions Events Committee. These positions allowed me to speak for students, and put into action their thoughts and ideas to help enhance student life.

Although this is my last semester of my undergraduate career here at Niagara, I will not be finished with my college career just yet. I was accepted into master’s degree program in school counseling, and will begin to fulfill my dream of being a school counselor and helping those in need. I’m extremely grateful for this opportunity, and am excited to see where this new journey takes me.

Coming into Niagara, I didn’t know what I was going to get myself into. Looking back and seeing everything I was able to accomplish makes me incredibly elated. Everyone says college is the best four years of your life, but with coming to Niagara University, it’s so much more than that. It’s an opportunity to be seen and heard, and to get involved with things you may have not thought were possible. Niagara offers possibilities like no other, and has allowed me to soar through great heights.