“I ended up choosing Saint Mary’s by accident. It really was fate that I ended up here.”
After accidentally applying here instead of Saint Mary’s College of California, Isabella Speedon ’18 took a leap of faith coming to school in Indiana.
“I never visited campus before move-in day. I came with a very open mind hoping to fall in love with this new place. It's all about the attitude you bring, and with that came great people and obviously great faculty. It was easy to just love Saint Mary’s from there.”
Learning to fight crime
Isabella’s ambition is to work for the FBI. Her interest in criminal justice stems from watching documentary-style shows with her mom when she was younger. Saint Mary’s helped Isabella refine her goals and take her fascination for fighting crime to the next level.
“I’ve always been into criminology, and sociology is the closest thing to that at Saint Mary’s. I wouldn’t say it's easy, but it's definitely not difficult to double major. I decided my sophomore year that I would do it, and I was able to add psychology easily. They compliment each other very well, so I have more options when deciding what I want to pursue in graduate school.”
Tapping into new experiences
Isabella has explored her interests outside of the classroom, too. She has taken advantage of extracurricular clubs to revisit activities from her past, both as a member of the golf team and in clubs at the University of Notre Dame.
“I didn’t want to limit myself with just academics. I was determined to be involved in different activities on campus. Right now, I’m dancing for Notre Dame Tap Company. I hadn’t tapped for six years, so it was exciting to pick that back up again.”
Living the dream on campus
Isabella enjoys living on campus. The residence halls have helped Isabella form unending bonds with her peers. She knows those she met her first year will be those life long friends she came to college to find.
“Every year has been very different for me. I was fortunate enough to be in a great hall with an awesome RA my first year. She worked hard bringing us all together and finding the ways we could connect because we were quite different. You do make relationships that are unique and significantly different from the ones you’ve made in your childhood.”
The friendships she’s cultivated at Saint Mary’s have also helped Isabella grow as a young Catholic.
“I have never been closer to God than I have been here. I credit that to the women here and the friends I’ve made. Something as simple as getting a text from a friend asking me to go to mass really makes all the difference and helps me grow.”
Isabella recognizes the impact of her Saint Mary’s experience and how it will propel her into her next steps.
“I don’t think I could be where I am academically without coming to a small school. It’s one thing to be known by a professor, but to have a personal relationship with each of them is unique. The faculty and their availability have allowed me to grow and prepare me for graduate school.”
Written by Emerald Blankenship ’17, media relations intern and business major with a concentration in marketing.