Graduating senior Isabel Quinones '20 (B.S./M.S.Ed.) shares a love letter to Manhattan College

The childhood/special education major reflects on her time at Manhattan, showing gratitude for all that has been and looking forward to the future.

Thankful for the PastIsabel in the library.

Choosing to be a Jasper was one of the best decisions of my life. When I was going through the college process as a 17-year-old senior, I was terrified. I was torn between two schools and had no idea where I was going. I was scared. Scared of moving away from home (I'm an only child), living on my own, affording a private college, getting good grades, and making my family proud. There were so many factors that went into my decision of going to Manhattan College. I was enthusiastic about moving to the Big Apple. The 845 has been my home for the past 21 years and I wasn't sure how I was going to function without a mountain and a river in my view at all times.

Leaving my family was the toughest part. Move-in day was the most difficult day of my college journey. I didn't know how to say goodbye to my parents and aunt, who have been such a major support system in my life. Horan Hall was terrifying yet so inviting. The hustle and bustle of the building reminded me that I was in for a bumpy yet life-changing ride. My room had the most beautiful view of Van Cortlandt Park (VCP). The 11th floor of Horan became home. I lived around some of my closest friends to this day (Thanks, Ry!). Freshman year held so many adventures, too. I was able to dive into fieldwork in New York City and explore college life with my new friends. I attended almost every Manhattan related event and became a part of the community almost immediately (LT4!!!).


Sophomore year proved to be that much better. From being an orientation leader to leading retreats, becoming a part of the 6th borough, traveling to New Orleans for a LOVE trip, and being elected to a student government position (viva la BOTB), I can say I did it all at MC that year. Junior year came with its challenges. Being VP for Residential Affairs proved itself a challenge but became one of the most influential experiences of my MC career. I made a name for myself on campus and wanted to continue to advocate for my fellow Jaspers. I fostered some of my closest relationships that year while spending too many nights in the library or math office, drinking way too much Jdel iced coffee, and somehow living off of Jamal giving me leftover sandwiches from the day during my late-night Kelly sessions (shoutout to Mattie for living through it all with me). OV Lobby floor became not just a place I lived in for school, but a home for me. Living with my two best friends made my sophomore-senior year that much more memorable. The education department became home and living with my best friend, classmate, and education buddy became a godsend (I love you, Taylor). These experiences help me realize how blessed I have been, especially at Manhattan.


Grateful for the Present

Jasper Nation — although this is not how I thought it would end, I am so grateful. Wow. While senior year was not everything I hoped, it was everything I needed. Student teaching allowed me to become a part of a classroom community that I couldn't imagine myself living without. My roommates became my best friends. My support system only grew, even though my friends knew how stressed I was and everything that was going on in my life. I was inducted into honor societies, I participated in performing arts groups, and I continued to develop myself as a human. Senior year was and still continues to be a whirlwind (which I'm sure we've all seen). 

Isabel and other ladies posing for a picture on senior walk.

I experienced my last Lessons & Carols (I miss you already, Andy). I sang at my last Music Ministry Mass. I walked down the senior walk one more time. I went and saw Safe at Jdel for my iced coffee before I left for what I thought was only 2 weeks. I said hi and bye to Pat the public safety officer. I had my last in-person class for a while. I passed my edTPA and am on my way to certification in New York State. The last thing I did? I hugged my friends at An Beal thinking it was only gonna be goodbye for two weeks. I sit writing this in my room back in the 845, away from all my friends, and using Google Hangouts for everything from classes, to our scheduled catch-up sessions, to having a cup of coffee with a friend virtually.


Excited for the Future

Life is changing rapidly, but Manhattan College, you gave me everything I needed and more.

You gave me a family (nuestra familia & more) and a home. You gave me your all. If anything, Manhattan College — you prepared me for life. I am ready to get a job. I am ready to be a teacher. I am ready to spread that bleed-green energy everywhere I go. I am ready to be a part of a community that spreads farther than I could imagine. While life is different right now, MC —- you prepared me for this. You brought me to this point, and I know you're still supporting me along the way.

While I am still processing what is happening now, I am thankful, grateful, and excited all at the same time. This blog is just the beginning of showing my gratitude to you, Manhattan College. You've brought me everything, and now I'm ready to spread the Jasper love. Thank you, Manhattan College. Thank you, Jasper Nation. I love you.

-Written by Isabel Quinones 19, ’20 (B.S./M.S.Ed.) 


Find out more about Isabel’s life as a Jasper in this video:

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