Ms. Kelly Denk discusses remaining true to oneself. (Bella Milbeck )
Ms. Kelly Denk discusses remaining true to oneself.

Bella Milbeck

Reflecting on the past

May 24, 2017

“One thing a lot of people don’t know about me is that I actually transferred colleges during undergrad. When I tell people I transferred out of UW Madison after a year and they look at me like I was kind of crazy to give up that experience. When I was a senior in high school, the only school on my radar was Madison. I had cousins who had gone there, and it was one of those schools when I was a senior where if you could get in, you went. And I didn’t even really look anywhere else; I didn’t even really think about what I wanted in a university. I was just really attracted to his notion that it was considered an accomplishment to get in there. So as soon as I did, I committed to going there and then a year in, I realized that a big university just really wasn’t for me.

I became a teacher because I value student-teacher relationships, and a lot of the time, at a university that big, you don’t develop those student-teacher relationships. I was really missing that in my college experience so I ended up transferring to UW Lacrosse. I fell in love. It was gorgeous, and I realized that I really wanted to transfer there and play soccer again. I spent a lot of time before that decisions thinking that there was something wrong with me because I wanted to transfer schools. I never envisioned myself as a person to transfer colleges during undergrad. There was a notion like “Oh, you go to Madison, why would you ever leave?” But the more I thought about it, the more I had to kind of let go about what I thought other people would think about it.

I transferred, and between soccer teammates, roommates and professors, I ended up meeting some of my favorite people to this day by the end of my four years there. It taught me that I have to let go of others people’s standards and what other people think is an accomplishment. You really have to pursue what makes you happy, because had I never transfered, had I got caught up in being nervous in the transfer, I would have missed out on some of the most important people in my life.”

Ms. Kelly Denk