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Ciara Knisely

Not Another Face In the Crowd

by Ciara Knisely | Jun 02, 2017

After loading several cars full of everything I had accumulated in my dorm room over the school year and then moving home, it felt weird returning to campus during the summer. It felt empty walking past the JYSC without groups of students walking by, like some sort of ghost town.

Now I am surrounded by “real adults”—all of the people working in the Admissions Office—instead of students. However, it’s a nice change. I find it relaxing to hear the friendly chatter throughout the office and the occasional groan of the coffee maker.

Again and again I am reminded of the opportunities that Manchester continually gives me. During my first semester here, I was unsure of what I was getting myself into. Halfway through the year, I was disheartened at the number of students I knew that had either transferred or dropped out, leaving the place that was supposed to be our home. I felt confused by what path I should take and if I would even succeed here. But, as I sit here typing this, I am incredibly glad I stayed. By the end of my first year I had published articles in the Oak Leaves and landed a job at the Writing Center.

As my sophomore year progressed, I became more and more grateful that I had an on-campus job, especially as I watched friends stress about money or complain about a job they hated. I had an awesome job with an awesome boss, gaining experience in a field directly related to my goals as an English major. I didn’t think it could get much better, and I felt myself falling into place here.

By the end of my second year at Manchester, I accepted an editorial role for the Oak Leaves for the next upcoming academic school year after writing for the paper for a second semester, and I won’t forget the ecstatic feeling I had, knowing that my hard work had been noticed and was worth something. I was not just another face in the crowd. I hadn’t realized that I didn’t want to be another face in the crowd, until I got here.

After that good news, I accepted two internships for the summer, one here at Manchester. Working with social media has been a change for me, but such a good change. I’ve heard the question, “What can you even do with an English major?” so many times that it became terrifying to think about my future. What would I do? Would I be just another daydreaming graduate with an English degree, competing for a chance at low-level jobs?

But I have to believe that I won’t, because of all these opportunities. Manchester has shown me what I am capable of. They have recognized my worth, and I know that by the end of my last year I will be prepared. My resume will full of amazing experiences that I can brag about to future employers, because that’s what Manchester has done for me.

It has been so fulfilling to feel like I have a place here. My job at the Writing Center, my internship, and my future role as an Editor for the Oak Leaves made me attached, and I knew I wouldn’t find these opportunities anywhere else. It felt easier and easier to ignore the voices saying, “Bigger schools are better!” because I knew I had made the right decision.

It feels so amazing to attend a school that recognizes my worth, accomplishments, and potential, instead of letting me blend into the crowd the way my introverted self wants to. My professors know my name and don’t forget it, and they help me achieve the things that I want to. I think that my future self will be even gladder that I chose Manchester by the time I graduate and begin my career. 

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.

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