Alumnus Corner: Bridgette Brauer (LWW Class of 2019)


Bridgette Brauer

When I was asked to write an alum article for the West Gazette, I didn’t think that I had been away from West for that long, but it has already been a year and a half since I graduated from high school. Currently, I am attending Valparaiso University in Indiana with a major in health science and direct admittance into their physician’s assistant program.

Thinking back to my life at Lincoln-Way West, I was heavily involved with extracurriculars, especially in the fall semesters. I was a member of the Marching Warriors my freshman year and the Lincoln-Way Marching Band the remaining three years, pep band, and National Honor Society. Being heavily involved in extracurriculars was always a blast because I got to hang out with my friends all the time and do something I love, but it also taught me a few things that I still integrate into my life here at Valpo.

During my time at Valpo, I have been highly involved just like I was as a Warrior. Freshman year, I was a member of my resident hall’s council, and now I am a resident assistant (RA) in the same hall! I am also a sister of the Zeta Iota chapter of Gamma Phi Beta and a member of the 5-Year Physician’s Assistant Club (5PAC).

Because of my extracurriculars as a Warrior, I learned time management, leadership and communication skills, as well as high morals and values that I still carry with me throughout my academics, RA duties, and sorority life.

Thinking back to the spring semester of 2020, it seemed exciting at first having to stay home for a long time. Longer spring break, right? Wrong. Online classes seemed like a joke until we were forced to take them. It was most likely the hardest transition I have ever gone through in my thirteen years of school.  I couldn’t visit my friends and family. I couldn’t go out to eat. I was stuck in the house. Classes were over Zoom. Technology became a common issue. The professors’ office hours and help sessions weren’t the same. Class material was harder to understand, and everyone was worried what would happen next in the world.

A month or two later, I finished my first year of college with all A’s and an overall GPA of 3.7. I was so worried about the world around me and my schoolwork, but I still finished the semester in one piece. The hard thing about living through a pandemic is that we’re never in “the know”. We are never going to know what’s coming next with the virus or how it will affect us, but in reality we’re never really in “the know” about many in our lives. So, my advice to whoever is reading this, especially seniors, is to take it day by day and be in the moment. It’s going to be hard, and it’s going to keep knocking you down, but realize that it’s not taking away what’s really important. While it might not be what you expected this year, you and your family are together. You’re able to attend school (as weird as it may seem now), and you’re inching your way closer to the next chapter of your life.

Stay strong. Don’t give up. And enjoy your time as a Warrior. It goes by way too fast.