Before I came to Saint Bonaventure, I had put little thought into my future. I was happy being a teenager and felt no need to make any long-term plans. My father told me I would be going to college and pressed me to consider what I wanted until I finally came up with a vague decision: I would go to college to study history. History was something in which I always succeeded, and it was the only subject in high school that truly interested me. This may sound irrelevant, but I believe it is important to understand my mindset at that time in order to appreciate the impact Saint Bonaventure's history department has had on me.
As a freshman I thoroughly enjoyed my history classes. During my first semester, I took a survey class on American history as well as a course on Pan-Africanism. My second semester included more survey classes, and I continued to enjoy my studies. I did very well in these courses and learned a great deal from them.
During my sophomore year, I made an impulsive decision and changed my major to International Studies. I have always felt a yearning to help others, and I believed studying International Studies would be a great way to prepare me to do so. However, as I took these courses I realized how little they interested me, and how much I longed to study history again. Fortunately for me, my adviser for International Studies, Dr. Joel Horowitz, is also a history professor!
I changed my major once more, back to history, and felt very confident with the decision. At this point, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and began to feel as if I needed to make the decision immediately. I made many visits to Dr. Horowitz's office claiming I had finally found the answer. But then I would leave, and not ten minutes later find I was questioning my goals once again. Something I deeply appreciate to this day is that each time I burst into his office with these triumphant proclamations, Dr. Horowitz treated my ideas as if I had finally found the answer and advised me regarding the ways that I could accomplish the goals I had set out.