Senior Reflections with Erin Duffy

I transferred to DePaul from Northern Illinois University and Triton College (my local community college) when I was a sophomore. If there is any advice I would give to Freshman, it would be to have patience with those gen ed courses even though they may not be your favorite. It takes time, for some, to find out what their major should be. That was the case for me, and it was frustrating for a while as I completed general courses- pondering why I even was going to college. Looking back at this time, I am glad that I did not give up and that I got accepted to DePaul. Transferring to DePaul made life much more interesting.

After the summer of 2018, working as a Conservationist at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, I was able to decide on a major in Environmental Studies. That summer, there was a large wildfire on Philmont’s property. Instead of being a camp counselor, I became a conservationist crew member. My friends and I worked long, hot hours in the New Mexico sun creating erosion barriers out of fallen trees. It sounds terrible described that way, but we went crazy and had an unforgettably fun summer. With no foliage, because of the fire, the sediment on the hillsides is more susceptible to being washed away. I learned about fire restoration ecology and saw the beauty of new growth after the ashes of the fire settled. I learned that climate change is causing increased droughts in the American Southwest and thus more frequent wildfires. I knew I had to learn more about environmental science. In my first quarter at DePaul, I took Intro to Environmental Studies with Dr. Liam Heneghan. We talked about the feelings that come with nature, the services that the environment gives to humanity, and the effect that the outdoors have on the body and soul. I was thrilled to be in class with students who held a similar passion as me.

As a new student at DePaul, I became active in the CCM community. Since then, my favorite faith experience in CCM has been going to weekly Catholic Women’s Group meetings. Women’s Group is where Catholic women have a space to share their faith, learn about the faith, and build friendships. There are lots of laughs but also meaningful faith-based discussions in our meetings. I will miss all the ladies of the Women’s Group and friends I have made in CCM. This summer I will be embarking on a new journey… I am getting married! If you had asked me this would be my life four years ago, I would not have believed you one bit. In these past four years, I have fallen in love with my fiancé, found a major that makes me excited to learn, minoring in Catholic Studies, and made lasting friendships. Now I have a vocation to marriage, and it is my goal to help my future spouse get to heaven. I also have a potential professional vocation in the environmental field. You never know where God will take you, it takes faith to keep moving forward. Good things are on the horizon for those who keep their trust in the Lord.