Senior Send-Off 2024: Brid Peoples

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I remember my first weeks as a student here at the University of Indianapolis quite distinctly. I flew out from my home country in Dublin, Ireland, a week before classes started in August 2023. I was definitely excited, but also extremely nervous. I am currently at UIndy on a one-year study abroad program, and I knew once I landed in America and started school I really had to throw myself into things, as I only had two semesters here. It was my first week of classes, and one of my professors was going around asking each student their name, major, grade and hobbies and other, typical, first-week questions. One student sitting in the row in front of me—Arrianna Gupton—said she was part of UIndy’s student-produced newspaper, The Reflector, and then advised everyone to join. I wanted to join as many clubs and meet as many new people as possible, so it was an easy sell for me.

I’ve always been very interested in politics and the news, and when I was younger, I was interested in writing as well. However, as I got older and my school work became more challenging, writing began to feel like a chore. And so, I was excited to learn a different kind of writing skill: journalism!

I’m very grateful for the skills I have picked up on The Reflector—how to write in Associated Press style, how to edit stories, how to interview others and how to ask the right questions. As someone who is perhaps more naturally introverted and quiet around strangers, it definitely helped ease some of my first anxieties about living so far away from home by going out into the community and being forced to talk to people.

 There seems to always be a lot of criticism about the American education system, with a lot of it being warranted, but one thing students here should not take for granted is the ability to pick up a wide range of classes and skills. My time here as a student and reporter has definitely reignited my interest in (if not love of) learning. With much smaller classes than I am used to, coming from a university in the U.K., I very much appreciate the way professors and faculty seem to relish talking about and explaining their subjects.

One thing I will especially miss is production Fridays. Even though it involved a lot of work and long hours, production was always the one day I knew I would laugh all evening. After the semester is over, I am going back to Ireland to finish the last year of my degree at Queen’s University Belfast in Belfast, Northern Ireland. I will definitely remember my time at The Reflector as the best decision I made while on my year abroad.

A special thank you to Professor Jeanne Criswell and to everyone on the staff. Thank you especially to the editorial team: Mia Lehmkuhl, Olivia Pastrick, Michael Harrington, Breanna Emmet, Alli Cook, Hannah Hadley, Caroline Krauch, Olivia Cameron and Elyssa Merrill. I will tell people about my year abroad in America for the rest of my life, and you are the people I will mention.

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