WYS: Freshman slowly adjusting to life on the Hill

Emily Salmon

Everyone at Western has a story. Everyone has that one moment that stands out in their lives, or a person who has changed them forever. “What’s Your Story?” will give a few people on the Hill a chance to tell what they are all about. The people who are featured in this series will be randomly picked from the student directory and will be able to tell everyone on campus what is on their minds.

It’s Jessica Stapp’s second day of class and her fourth day on campus. In her dorm room on the 17th floor of Pearce-Ford Tower, she sits between “I Love Lucy” videos on a shelf and her books for class on her desk. She sips a Dr. Pepper and shows off her black painted fingernails. The past few days have been a little bit lonely for the Jamestown freshman. She knows only a few people on campus. Stapp says she sees people from high school walking around, but she doesn’t usually stop to say “hello.”

“I’ve seen some but I don’t really talk to them,” she said.

Stapp is excited to get away from home and start somewhere new.

“My summer sucked bad,” she said.

After all, Stapp is no stranger to jumping into new experiences. Stapp moved out of her house when she was 16 because of problems between her and her mother and because she just wanted to get away. She has since lived with both her grandparents, a boyfriend and then on her own before coming to Western.

She says her 63-year-old grandmother is her biggest inspiration because they have been through many of the same things. She has spent summers with her grandmother, traveling and spending time together.

“She taught me respect for people,” Stapp says. “I don’t look down at anyone and I see everybody as equal.”

Stapp’s respect for people has turned into a need to help them, and she is considering a career in social work. She is thinking about going into counseling.

“The mind is interesting,” she said.

Stapp says she hasn’t quite decided if she likes Western or not because it is such a big transition for her. Although she said being accepted to Western is one of her biggest achievements, she is still unsure of herself.

“I’m just not used to it yet,” she said. “I’m just trying not to get lost.”

Reach Emily Salmon at [email protected]