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Proud to be a Bobcat

I became a Bobcat on Wednesday, January 10th, 2018. It was the first day of classes of the spring semester and I had no idea what to expect. I was taking prerequisite courses in hopes of getting accepted into the accelerated nursing program that Montana State University offers to students with a previous bachelor's degree. My first degree was in English and I had to take a bunch of science classes to be eligible for the nursing program; I took chemistry of the environment and plant biology to fulfill the science requirements for my first degree, as far from anything helpful to a future nurse as you could have possibly taken. I feel like walking to class in ankle deep snow with plenty more coming down was a fitting way to start my journey at Montana State. 8am, Gaines Hall Room 101, Chemistry 121: Intro to General Chemistry. I remember sitting in the second row of this massive room with hundreds of seats to make it feel smaller.

Walk to School

Photo from my walk to my first class as a Bobcat!

I know I didn’t take a traditional path as a Bobcat, but now, two and a half years later, I am proud to be an Alum. I think the MSU motto, Mountains and Minds, was fitting for my experience. I took a PE skiing class at Bridger Bowl, hiked up the “M” a bunch of times, skied The Great One, biked up Hyalite, and hiked “The Ridge” when I wasn’t in class. During the week I hit the books, bouncing between classes, the SUB, and library. Power Coffee from SRO (Standing Room Only in the SUB) kept me awake after staying up too late working on assignments. I got to meet some of the best people in my classes, both instructors and fellow classmates. In my nursing program, the 15 others in my cohort quickly went from strangers to people I respect, trust, and feel privileged to call my friends.

MSU Love Shirt

Navy Montana State University Bobcat Love Tee Shirt by Hamilton Group

I also got to feel that special Bobcat Pride cheering on our sports teams decked out in Blue and Gold! I made sure to enjoy the tailgate scene this past fall as we blew out the school from Missoula 48-14 to win our fourth straight Cat/Griz and make sure the Great Divide Trophy stays where it belongs. I even got to man the first aid tent with some nursing school classmates to help keep Bobcats young and old safe during another game. The buzz on gameday in Bozeman is an incredible thing, few places support their teams like we do!

Montana State Collapsible Can Cooler

 

Tailgate tested and approved Montana State Collapsible Can Cooler

Now that I’m an alum, I’m extremely grateful to have a campus as gorgeous as Montana State’s. I love walking my dog through campus and seeing the mountains on all sides, hearing the bells chime from atop Montana Hall, and checking in on Spirit in the Alumni Plaza. It’s a place I’ll always return to even when I don’t live a short walk away.

Montana Hall

Photo courtesy of Montana State University's Facebook page @montanastate

As always, go Bobcats!


Written by Stephen McNeal

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