“Soccer has played a massive role in my entire life. I’ve been playing ever since the first grade. I’ve been playing competitively since the 4th grade. I was introduced to the game from some friends in elementary school and have loved it ever since. Its truly been life changing. It has taught me so many lessons that are valuable in life. I worked my entire life to try and make it onto the varsity high school soccer team for all 4 years and eventually achieved that goal. I also had to make one of the hardest decisions in my life of leaving my former hometown club soccer team in attempts of joining one of the best soccer teams in all of Minnesota. I was fortunate enough to make the team. I started out my career when I was young, as a forward, but found that my true calling, was to be a goalkeeper. I found out I wanted to be a goalkeeper when I was randomly selected to play as the goalie for my club’s soccer game, and I absolutely loved it and haven’t looked back. I had the opportunity to play soccer in college, but I decided my education is what’s most important to me. I still plan to continue playing the beautiful sport for the rest of my life by joining a Men’s League soccer team, as well as just playing around with some friends. Overall, I am extremely grateful for everything the sport has done for me.”
Photo & Caption: Justin Duran, Khadiya Hollingsworth, and David Markiewicz
“Hello everyone, my name is Ryan and I am a senior at Minnesota State University, Mankato. I found Mankato to be a good place to get education and obtain my degree. I am majoring in aviation. I chose aviation as my major because both my father, and grandfather are pilots. I have had many happy moments in my life, but one of the happiest moment in my life was when I got my pilot license. Receiving my pilot license is very important in terms of my career, and life as well. It also determines who I am and what I want to do, because I see myself being a pilot of a major airline in ten years. I am not only a student at Minnesota State University, Mankato. I am also a baseball player on the Mavericks baseball team. Baseball was a big reason why I decided to come to Mankato. One thing I am very afraid of in life is getting a bad injury, specifically one that would result in a bone sticking out. This can be seen when someone’s bone is broken or fractured. Something that I have done that I am proud of is hitting a homerun off of Jameis Winston in high school. This is a proud moment for me because Jameis is now an elite athlete, and an NFL Quarterback for Tampa Bay Buccaneers.”
Photo & Caption: Thomas Imholte, Noah Rajtar, Shuaib Mohamud, Jameson Meyer
“In most of my high school career I never knew exactly what area of work I wanted to go into, but knew I wanted to be working with people. I thought about several other professions including Elementary Education, Nursing, and Communication Disorders and then I came across Social Work and that’s when I started to learn more about it. I have always wanted a career where I can help others and that is why I chose Social Work as my major. There were so many people along the way that I never would have guessed were social workers because I thought it was such a limited profession. I learned that Social Work is so broad and that there are so many areas that I would be able to work in. Right now, I am interested in working with children or geriatrics because after working with them in previous jobs, I feel as though I would work best with these age groups. After I graduate, I plan on continuing my education and going to grad school for clinical social work. As a clinical social worker, I can work in both areas of my interest: children and geriatrics. With a master’s degree in clinical social work I would be able to be a therapist or counselor. I know that I am making the right decision because when I go to class and think about my future, it puts me in a good mood and makes me excited to see what my future holds as a professional.”
Photo & Caption by: Dimitra Rothweiler, Blair Wareham, and Sydney Corbin
“I have always been afraid of not being good enough in things such as jobs, relationships, new environments and different things like that. I have a bad habit of letting people down, and when that happens I know I wasn’t good enough for whatever that situation was. When I let someone down I always think that there goes another person that doesn’t believe in me. Whenever I let people down, I get scared that I will let myself down with my future. I fear I will never graduate and not be successful with whatever I want to do. Whether it be with my career and my life in general. I want to work in media either as a writer or in film, but I know that is a hard career to get started in and get my career to take off. I have always dreamed of myself doing something big and great things with my life, but it is not always realistic and I think I need to realize that myself. Success is what I believe to be happiness. It just depends on your own version of success. Some people think success means being a millionaire with a lot of nice things. For me, success and happiness is my overall well-being. I like working out, eating well and taking care of myself. Success also has a lot to do with my career, which is why I think I will not be good enough. I just don’t see myself being happy in life.”
Photo & Caption by: Ceara Golden, Samantha Zittle, and Christa Stimson
“It was a cold and cloudy day. I just started walking again a couple months after ACL and meniscus surgery, and all I wanted to do was go fishing. My mom had just bought me a new lure I had never heard of before, so I went to a pond that I knew had some huge fish in it to test it. I made my friend Trevor leave school early to take me because I couldn’t drive yet. We got to the pond around 2 o’clock, and everyone was still in school so we were the only ones there. The first cast, in my opinion, just felt like “the money cast.” I started reeling it in. It felt so different because of my ACL and meniscus, and after about 5 cranks it had felt like I had hit a big rock or something, but shortly after it started pulling me and I had no muscle or anything in my bad leg so it almost pulled me into the water. After about a ten-minute fight I pulled in a 43-inch Northern Pike. My personal record. Shortly after letting that beast go I casted a second time, and I caught a seven-pound bass. At that moment, I knew I had just found my new favorite lure and I had my mom buy 8 more of them”
Photo and caption by: Uudus Bayarsaikhan, Nick Edstrom, Maria Willner
“Something I’m proud of is getting my master’s degree. I got my master’s degree in Computer Science in 1989. I also have a Bachelor’s of Science from Bemidji State University. I chose Computer Science because it was interesting to me, and because it was out of necessity so I could get a desk job. I wanted to be a forest ranger or a DNR officer, but I wouldn’t have been able to work in those fields for more than a few years. I have muscular dystrophy, so moving around in general is a big struggle for me. Despite that, it’s important to me that I life to the fullest given my current capabilities.”
Photo & caption by: Matt Abel, Ben Clayton, and Lindsey Mattson
Hi there! My name is Olivia and I’m a Sophomore at Minnesota State University Mankato, Minnesota. After touring other schools, I decided on MSU Mankato because of the welcoming atmosphere and how it felt more like my home. After choosing Mankato, I had to choose a major. Luckily it was an easy decision to make. I chose Life Science Education and I am now considering a minor in Astronomy. I have always had a passion for Biology and within my first year of college I knew I wanted to be a teacher for biology. I am considering a minor in Astronomy because it opens doors to more opportunities for jobs. I am also considering teaching overseas. Seems like a fun adventure. I love Minnesota State, it is full of life and diversity with many opportunities for personal growth. I love the friends I have made and all the events the school puts on for students. I love singing in the choir and performing as well. One thing I would change at MSU is adding more healthy food options at the dining center. Along with having personal trainers and a dietitian like classes have the option for tutors. I would love to see a class dedicated to healthy living and showing people how to implement this information in their day to day lives. All in all, I love Minnesota State. It is a wonderful school and I know I made the right decision in coming here. Well that’s all, I must say! Oh…wait…one more thing…GO MAVS!
Photo & Caption by: Luke Dawson, Hiedi, Lambrecht, Carrie Pospishil
I come from two hard-working parents who make around forty grand a year combined in order to feed a family of eight. My parents have always taught me to work hard, and to be determined to get what I want because they came from Thailand where you basically had to live off of what you farmed and gathered. I grew up in a duplex in the “ghetto,” and I was going to public schools in that area until I graduated from high school. I always appreciated the free education and living in a secure house, rather than walking and paying for school in Thailand and living in a hut made of grass. Finding my cultural identity has been a struggle since I started school. My parents are Hmong and believe in Shamanism. I was raised up in the United States being exposed to many other cultures and ideas. There is just so much out there that I can grasp everything.
Being Hmong American has definitely had its challenges. Being a minority in my community wasn’t something that was unusual, but the bad influences and identifying myself as an American was hard. Growing up from the “ghetto” had its influences on me. There was a time where I thought being a bad kid was the cool thing to do, which made me develop bad habits and bad grades. My groups of friends at the time were all Caucasian, but I didn’t have any friends who were the same ethnicity as me. I thought that having friends who were only Caucasian made me more American. The Shaman religion was taboo to the American culture, and I wanted to be normal. It wasn’t until I was older though that I understood my roots and why it makes me unique as a person. I learned a lot about myself as a person, and I continue to work on myself so I can make not only myself proud, but my parents as well.
Photo and caption by: Arriayn Thao, Lynzie Reichel, Kiara Ubl
What is your happiest moment?
“My happiest moment was being able to find a person who shows the same interests as me after 40 years. It’s pretty nice to know someone is still looking for a gal who likes bikes! I have always wanted to be a biker’s wife, but never had a man in my life that enjoyed motorcycles as much as I do, that was, until I met Kriss. We actually went out on a whim and got married at Sturgis a couple of years ago. It’s been an exciting, thrilling ride to experience what I love, with the man I love. We make it a tradition now to go to Sturgis every year together.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
“Hopefully Kriss and I will have our dream house built, we have been looking at plots of land for some time now. I wish I could retire in 10 years, I have been at the same job since I was in my early twenties. Originally, my plan was to go into nursing, but as time went on, I got a great deal with the place I am at now, with amazing people.”
Interviewer: Sydney Bunkofske
What is something you have done that you are proud of?
“I am proud of myself for graduating from college. I didn’t think that I would make it past my freshman year of college, so the fact that I did, makes me feel like I can do anything I set my mind to. Getting through the last four years was a struggle for me, and I never foresaw myself actually getting my degree. Now, I am happily working in my degree since last November, and I’m doing anything I’ve ever wanted to do. I hope to move to a place where my degree becomes more than an office job, but the place I am now gives me the money for rent and groceries!”
Why did you choose your major? Why do you enjoy it?
“The degree I graduated with was Graphic Design. I chose this career because it is something that I really enjoy doing. I enjoy it mostly because I am able to express myself in a creative way that I am unable to do without the career. Also, I enjoy having free roam of my artistic abilities without any restrictions telling me that this is something I can or cannot do.”
Interviewer: Sydney Bunkofske