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HUGHES: Why I continue to choose Marquette

Morgan Hughes

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“Where are you from? What is your major? Why did you choose Marquette?” These are the typical ice-breaker questions used when getting to know someone for the first time. They’re easy to answer and they fill what would otherwise be awkward silence.

I tell people that I chose Marquette because it’s in the city and that I love Milwaukee. I chose Marquette because it has an awesome journalism program. I chose Marquette because I was familiar with the campus because my mom had lived in the city for the majority of my childhood.

But there’s more to Marquette than what can be discussed over orientation chatter. And a lot has changed since I first filled out the application to Marquette. My reasons for wanting to attend are different than my reasons for staying.

The first thing I think about when I consider what makes Marquette different from other universities is the faculty. I’m not going to lie, the idea of transferring schools has popped into my head. Rarely, but it has. Yet every time, that idea is quickly replaced with the knowledge that transferring schools would mean forfeiting the opportunity to learn under such amazing professors. I’m sure other universities have great teachers, but they don’t have a Karen Hoffman or a Herbert Lowe.

Another major thing to love about Marquette is the location. Milwaukee is a very special place. The city gets a bad rap, and while there are some serious problems, every city has its faults. We get snow and a beach, hundreds of independent coffee shops, a talented arts community, more thrift shops than Macklemore would know what to do with, amazing food and a fantastically diverse population.

Marquette sits right in the middle of all of that wonderfulness. So many of my Saturdays have been spent hopping on buses and getting off as soon as I see something interesting I want to explore. I have a list of used bookstores a mile wide thanks to those trips.

Milwaukee has a place for everyone. It’s impossible to feel like you don’t belong.

Speaking of feeling like you belong, Marquette has so many student organizations. Whether you love poetry or you identify as a movie-buff, Marquette has a club where you can discuss and practice your passions with like-minded peers.

Marquette also offers free tutoring, free counseling, a writing help center, financial aid advisors, a career services center and so many other programs designed to help students and faculty with whatever they may be facing. I honestly feel like the university cares about the individual student. Marquette wants to build successful people and it offers all the things necessary to do that.

As if all that Marquette provides isn’t enough, the students make it even better. Last week, students joined together outside the library on Wisconsin avenue to show solidarity with the students at the University of Missouri. This is just one example of the community Marquette fosters. We are all such different people with different ideals and ambitions. But being at Marquette, it is easy to join together despite all of our differences and stand together. We can all agree on one thing: we have to be the difference.

So, I might fantasize about being in California with my toes in the sand when I’m freezing cold walking to an 8 a.m. class here in Wisconsin, but no grievance that I have with the university could push me away.

I love Marquette, and I will continue to choose it. We are Marquette.

 

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