Ellen Ramsey '12

International Eligibility Representative

National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA)

Psychology Major

Ellen reflects on how her Knox experience inflenced her life.

Are you doing what you envisioned as an undergrad?

I majored in psychology and always planned to go directly from Knox to a graduate program in mental health counseling. Toward the end of my college career I realized my heart wasn't actually into becoming a therapist, so I didn't go to grad school and started working in athletics instead.

How did your Knox experience affect the course of your life?

Knox gave me countless opportunities to grow academically, professionally, and personally. There are endless opportunities and options in life, but at some point you have to choose which ones to follow and which ones to put on the back burner. Knox was a good place to practice all that juggling. Having four years there taught me that I can try out all my interests, fail at some of them, and then pick myself up to try something new. I am also grateful to Knox every day, as it is the reason I can call some pretty amazing people my best friends. They, along with the entire Knox community, are a huge part of what shaped me into the person I am today.

What’s the most important thing you learned outside the classroom?

I got involved in a lot of clubs and organizations outside of the classroom, and that means I gave myself a lot of different kinds of commitments. I wanted to give 100% to my schoolwork, organizations, and friends, but that can prove to be exhausting. By the time I graduated I had learned how to determine which of those commitments were actually important to me. I prioritized commitments and got rid of ones that no longer served me. I knew who I was and (mostly) what I wanted out of life as I moved forward.

What surprised you about your college experience?

My old roommates and I talk a lot about how, when we were freshmen, we couldn't understand why upperclassmen and alums were so obsessed with Knox. I knew I would like Knox. From the very first time I visited I knew it was where I wanted to be, but nothing could have prepared me for how much I would fall in love with everything about it. And I mean everything. My classmates and friends, my professors, my friends' professors who somehow knew me by my first name even though I never took a class with them, the campus, Galesburg, the trains, the education I received, and the community I still feel so very much a part of even though I'm separated from it by many miles and a forever-increasing number of years. Realizing I had become the Knox-obsessed person I had never been able to understand before was definitely a funny experience. It still surprises me -- the extent to which I am obsessed with all things Prairie Fire.