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Ciara Knisely

  • Freshman to Senior Year

    by Ciara Knisely | Sep 08, 2017

    Knowing that I’ll be graduating in May, a whole year earlier than I planned on, it has been an odd experience seeing all the new students on campus. It seems like just last week I was one of those first-years walking across campus and signing up for first-year workshops. Now, I’m in my Senior Seminar with one of the very first professors I met before I began my first year at Manchester, and I keep thinking about what has changed and how fast this journey has gone by.

    When time goes by, we never feel much different than we think we did in the past. I am a different person than I was three years ago, but I’m also the same. I just grew a little bit. And if I’m being honest, I am really proud of the person I’ve grown to be. I know that I will continue growing throughout my last year at Manchester, too, but I’m excited for the result. But all of this thinking about graduation just reminds me of all of my favorite memories on campus, and I hope I never forget them.

    I remember taking my first English class, with Beate, and knowing I was in the right place. Now, I look back on the class and smile, because so many of my friends were in that class, but they just hadn’t become my friends yet.

    I remember my FYS professor, Dr. Planer (retired), being one of the very first people at Manchester to show just how literally we live out our values here, being a kind of supportive person that I needed. As I write this, more memories come back to me, and I remember emailing daily back and forth with Dr. Planer before my first semester had even started. I hadn’t even met him yet, but he was already showing kindness and concern for me. I will always remember the times I sat in his office and he would look at me with such a genuine look, ask me how I was, how I really was, and I just burst into tears for no known reason. It was just seeing the utter look of care on his face—it always overwhelmed me, but in a good way, and that is what Manchester means for me.

    I remember getting my first on-campus job, at the Writing Center. It was the perfect job for me, and still is, and I was so excited when I got offered a position at the end of my first year. I’ve met so many people and made friends just by working here, and it’s so satisfying being able to help my peers improve their work.

    I remember all the fun shenanigans my friends and I would do for fun, like watching the small animals in the Science Center and setting up a Ouija board but being too afraid to use it. I remember my best friend carrying me across the mall as we headed toward one of the dances on campus; I had heels on and we were running late. I remember stare-offs with squirrels who were a little too social, and long nights spent in the library during finals week. I remember interviewing what seems like a million people for the Oak Leaves, and learning more about this community than I would’ve imagined.

    Overall, this place has changed me. Of course I’ve grown on my own, but I’ve learned more about the world than I could’ve imagined, and I’m grateful to attend a school that only makes me eager to learn more.

    Ciara Knisely ’18 is an English-Creative Writing major and Journalism minor, and hopes to continue her writing career in the future. She spends her time working at the Writing Center on campus and is a Co-Editor of the Oak Leaves newspaper.