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Muriel Melgoza
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Muriel Melgoza

Graduation year: 2019

Hometown: Aurora, Ill.

Major: French

Minor: Art

Activities: Augustana Choir, Sigma Kappa Tau honorary member, Black Squirrel Productions, Global Engagement Team, Alpha Psi Omega honor society (theatre), musical theatre

Post-grad plans: Hopefully a French-speaking country

Why Augustana?

I had friends who have gone here in the past, and I knew I wanted a liberal arts college. In the end, the scholarship award made the difference for me, and I'm so thankful for Augustana's generosity. Of course, I also adored the beauty of the campus and the ease in getting from class to class due to the small school setting. The people were and continue to be very kind and respectful.

Are you where you thought you’d be when you first came to campus?

No, I never thought I'd be in Augie Choir. I never thought I'd be able to work at The Brew. I didn't even know I'd be here this year. The original plan was to be here two years because I was a transfer student, but things happen. You just have to adjust and make the most of it. I sure did.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

As a first-generation student, I had to help myself a lot of the time. But thankfully my parents helped in as many ways as they could. Even my friends did too. 

Peak experience?

This whole year has been a peak experience. I know it's not technically “here,” but it all started this past summer when I was in France. It was life changing, and yet it feels like a dream now. I still can't believe I nonchalantly lived in FRANCE for six weeks. How much more can I say? Besides that, all these groups I'm involved in. I’m going to miss them the most.

What surprised you?

As a transfer student, I was only meant to be here two years. Staying a year longer in order to fulfill my major proved to be the most beneficial thing for me in terms of things that I accomplished. I learned that there is still much to learn, and there will always be more to learn. You just have to lend an ear. Curiosity is key in the learning experience, but we mustn't forget to ask for help when we need it. I know I have a lot of trouble with that.

How did you use Augie Choice?

I went on the Summer Dijon, France program, and I loved every second of it. My French improved so much, and I have an even greater appreciation for other people's cultures. In addition to Augie Choice, I was able to obtain a couple other scholarships that helped me fund this trip.

What will you miss the most?

I'll miss being around so many like-minded people, my peers and the arts. I'll miss it so much that I'll seek it wherever I go once I'm gone. I'll miss it all.

Advice for the Class of 2023?

Don't fret about what you should do if you're undecided. Augie has great resources and opportunities that will help steer you in the right direction if you pay attention. You can do it! Don't be afraid to sign up for everything and go to everything your first year here. You'll fall into place where you need to be the sooner you make yourself seen.

"It’s been a pleasure getting to know Muriel, both on campus and during study away in Dijon, France. I will miss her abundant optimism, creativity and original perspectives on literature. As a transfer student, Muriel quickly immersed herself in Augustana’s intellectual and social life. In each class Muriel took with me, our discussions benefited from her enthusiasm and ability to make connections between the texts and her own lived experiences. I look forward to seeing where life will take her."

– Dr. Kiki Kosnick, assistant professor, French