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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Senior Wildcats talk inspiration to succeed

Tracey Stark

Graduating seniors Patricia Wilson-Everett (left), a French and psychology major, and Kyle Everly (right), a chemical engineering major, pose for graduation photos.

May marks the end of the semester for each of us, however, this May marks a significant ending for this year’s seniors preparing to graduate. The Daily Wildcat took a moment to learn what inspired some of those among this year’s graduating class and how they’ve continually strived for their degrees amidst the craziness of college life that we are all personally familiar with.

Patricia Wilson-Everett, a senior majoring in French and psychology, said some big inspirations for her would be the different experiences she’s had because of college.

“One of the biggest inspirations in college is the Presbyterian Campus Ministry, since I’m a student intern,” Wilson-Everett said. “I’ve been able to see students grow both in their own college careers and in their faith.”

This experience has been a huge inspiration for her, she said. Wilson-Everett works as a crisis victim advocate with the Pima County Attorney’s Office and she said some inspiring moments have come from her work there.

“I’ve been to crisis calls where everything is a mess for a person,” Wilson-Everett said. “I guess in a way, it’s inspiring to see them overcome that, but also to see how my choices have kind of kept me from experiencing the same things they have.”

Wilson-Everett also said inspiration from family, friends and herself was also a factor in what kept her inspired throughout her four years of college thus far.

“Seeing my mom proud of me for my achievements in college inspires me to keep doing good and then I have to be inspired in myself in order to get through it and to get through it in a positive way,” she said. “Just seeing my own friends succeed is inspiring to do my best as well.”

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Wilson-Everett also affirmed that the biggest inspiration that has kept her motivated through college is what she will be able to do with her degree and future degrees.

“The main goal is to become educated enough so I can help other people with their struggles and if I lose that inspiration, then I’m not going to want to finish,” she said. “So, ultimately, [the] biggest inspiration is everyone out there that I might be able to reach.”

Cayleigh Mackenzie, a senior majoring in chemical engineering, will be another student among this year’s graduating class.

She recalled that her initial inspiration was the first time she took a chemical engineering course.

“I entered college orientation as a chemistry major, but the first day of classes I knew I wanted to be a chemical engineer,” Mackenzie said. “I wasn’t able to be in the College of Engineering, since I’d already declared in the College of Science until junior year of university; so, I took my first chemical engineering class as a sophomore.”

Mackenzie said she talked to Paul Blowers, a distinguished professor in chemical and environmental engineering, to see if he would allow her to take his class.

“After taking chemical engineering 201, I knew that’s what I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” she said.

Mackenzie highlighted the importance of a conversation she had with her oldest brother in which they discussed what direction she should take in her life.

“He asked what I was good at and I mentioned chemistry and math, and he was the one who suggested chemical engineering,” Mackenzie said. “I hadn’t even thought of it at the time.”

Mackenzie further took note of the diversity of the chemical engineering industry.

“Everybody, when you say ‘chemical engineering,’ they get all impressed, but it isn’t until they find out more than if you ask a regular person what a chemical engineer does—it’s an industry that’s so diverse, can go in so many directions, working with cosmetic companies to semi-conductors and everything in between,” she said.

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Kyle Everly, a senior also majoring in chemical engineering, will also graduate this spring. He said the idea that doing well would secure him a good job is what made him strive to perform well and get good grades.

“And that’s really the basis; thinking over it, that’s what kept me going, like, ‘okay, gotta do this so I can have a good job,’” Everly said.

Whether it be a good support system of friends and family that helps you get through your college career, your own willpower and perseverance or the knowledge that all of this is for something, your inspiration lies therein.

Follow Kacie Lillejord on Twitter

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