“I just wanted to do something exciting. I didn’t want to miss out. When will I have another opportunity like this,” says Catherine, referring to her decision to be part of the Backpack Journalism program as she rocks back and forth on her rocking chair.
Sitting on the porch of her new house, a 26-step hike up from peaceful Bemis Park, Catherine says that she has always been looking for something big, something fun and exciting.
Originally from Lake Mills, Iowa, a town of 2,500 people in northern Iowa, Catherine saw her opportunity to go to Creighton as a time to do something big. She is majoring in journalism, doing the Public Relations track, but hopes that this major can take her to do bigger things that she doesn’t know about yet. She is ready for surprises.
Although shy and quiet at first, Catherine is driven by exciting opportunities and fun experiences, and this definitely shows through her taste in music.
“I love when a song can make me laugh. You can’t help but smile when you listen to it.”
If you were to go to the Waiting Room Lounge in Benson, a concert venue for small bands, you would very likely find Catherine dancing to the music, singing to the lyrics, and likely be by herself. “If I have to do it by myself I’ll do it. I don’t want to miss out. I don’t want to be scared of what people think. I also like to go see bands that I don’t know”
Catherine is motivated by living a joyful life, and that’s why she has spent her last two summers doing things where she finds excitement. Before her freshman year in college, she took a group of 11 girls backpacking in eastern Iowa and last summer she spent two months of her summer living in Brooklyn.
“I had never been there before. I wanted to go somewhere different, somewhere new. New York is so exciting. I wanted to experience that in first person and do it by myself.”
And that’s exactly what happened when she got to see her favorite band, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros live by the East River in Manhattan. “There were only 300 tickets being sold and I was lucky enough to get one of them. I went by myself, it was their album release show, the sun was setting down, we were right next to the East River, I was on second row. I also knew all the songs that they played. I got to meet a lot of really cool people and had an amazing time.”
“It will be really hard to beat that” she says about her experience in Brooklyn. “It was the first time that I was totally independent.”
Looking back on her experience in Alaska, there were also times that brought her great joy and peace. “My favorite part of the trip was going out to see the sunset twice. It is one of those moments that you know you are going to miss. And you just kept telling yourself: ‘I will remember this as one of the best moments of the trip’. Being at a place like that, you just want to be in the moment. You want remember everything. You just know that it will be an amazing memory.”
However, she says that it is hard to compare it to her summer in Brooklyn because they were just totally different experiences. “I think that Brooklyn helped me understand who I am, while Alaska helped me figure out what I want to do.”
From going to see concerts of unknown bands by herself, to spending a summer in Brooklyn, to joining the Backpack Journalism Program, Catherine likes to be surprised by experiences. “I didn’t know what I was getting myself into coming to Creighton, going to Brooklyn, going to Alaska, but I knew it would be something good.” And she says it’s been great so far