Taking the road less traveled


Story by Whitney Silkey, Assistant News Editor

Last spring semester when I got back from spring break, I had the sudden calling to become a nurse. Prior to this, I was undecided on a major for the majority of my freshman year, and I spent my sophomore year as a psychology major. But once I had the urge to become a nurse, I knew that this would be one of the biggest, most life-changing decisions I would ever make.

I changed my major to nursing the end of my sophomore year, leaving me with an entire year left in Baldwin City to finish the prerequisites needed to get me to Baker’s School of Nursing in Topeka. Thank goodness I spent my freshman year taking random courses like Microbiology for “fun” that helped me get to nursing school within a year. This leads me to where I am now, currently a junior about to leave for Baker School of Nursing, which is honestly a very weird place to be.

Being a pre-nursing major at Baker University is unique because it typically entails two years at the Baldwin City campus and then two additional years at Baker’s Nursing School at Stormont Vail Hospital. Nursing majors usually have limited time on campus, but this isn’t the case for me.

In less than a month I am leaving the campus I’ve called home for the past three years. The position I am in now is incredibly strange, because it feels like I am about to graduate college, yet I’m not even close to my graduation date with two years of nursing school ahead of me.

Some of my closest friends will be graduating in a few short weeks. I have been participating in all of the celebrating, procrastinating and all the other forms of senioritis that they have this semester. But in the back of my mind, I’m constantly thinking that this is my last chance to enjoy the college lifestyle before nursing school sucks the fun out of me.

Perhaps some of the weirdest instances of my nontraditional path are those pertaining to graduation. As of May 1, I am officially an alumna of my sorority, Zeta Tau Alpha, even though I still have two years of school left.

Although I don’t receive many “senior” perks, I have recently been invited to a couple of senior sendoff activities, including Paisano’s Night for seniors in the mass media department because of my dedication to The Baker Orange for the past two and a half years. I might not be graduating, but leaving is still hard. These sendoffs make the transition a little easier.

These are a few of the things I will miss: coming home every day to a house full of 50 girls, living in a bunk bed, having my Wednesday nights booked by The Baker Orange, going to class knowing that the things I’m learning aren’t life or death yet and trips to El Patron.

I am happy to say that I am leaving with no regrets and that I am happy with the decision I have made. As much fun as I have had during my last three years here, I must say that nursing school is calling my name. As scary as it seems, I can’t wait to sign my life away to Baker’s School of Nursing in the fall, and I look forward to saving lives every day. My passion truly lies in helping others.

Looking back on the last three years at Baker, I have learned so much, but I am ecstatic for what lies ahead of me. This whole experience has been bittersweet, but lucky for me, I get to stick with the Baker name and graduate back here in Baldwin City in the spring of 2019.

Thank you, Baker’s Baldwin City campus, for the opportunities of a lifetime. I promise to visit soon.


Whitney Silkey, future RN