“Being at Saint Mary’s taught me to be confident and not worry about what people think.”
Christian Bean ’17 has grown as a student and woman at Saint Mary’s.
“Sociology changed my life. When you study people’s behavior, you learn how to approach them and be an agent of change in our society. I love to give and I love helping people. That’s why I chose sociology because there’s no limit to the ways in which you can initiate change.”
Taking on the world
Christian studied abroad in Maynooth, Ireland during her junior year. She said the experience was worthwhile because of the connection to her education. Her intercultural studies minor in particular taught her not to generalize a population, which allowed her to take on the experience with an open mind.
“Adapting to that culture was eye-opening for me. I loved experiencing things other than American studies in the classroom. I became more independent, and also more social. I’m very shy so that independence and ability to be on your own was so beneficial going forward from study abroad.”
Changing for the better
Christian gained confidence while at Saint Mary’s and recognizes a positive change in herself.
“I would say I’m very different. I was really quiet and kept to myself, and I didn’t know how to approach somebody to make friends. Now, I’m very social and outgoing. Being at Saint Mary’s taught me to be confident and not worry about what people think. Go for it. Take risks. Be nice to everyone.”
Finding her place and her voice
At Saint Mary’s, Christian found a community of women welcoming her with open arms.
“Everyone is so empowering. I have been blessed with so many mentors encouraging me to keep going and take steps. I’ve never felt so embraced by women.”
“The faculty and staff are so amazing, especially in the sociology department. Having a relationship with them will help you with your studies, but also give you insight about life. College gives you an education and, even more than that, teaches you about life outside of that.”
Speaking to minority students, Christian has a message she likes to share.
“In the beginning I felt like I couldn’t speak up because I would be judged by my experiences. You shouldn’t feel small. Appreciate the opportunity you have here, even if it feels awkward. I’m usually the only black student in my class, but speaking up in discussion is the only way to make change. Keep being an agent for change in the classroom and beyond.”
Written by Emerald Blankenship ’17, media relations intern and business major with a concentration in marketing.