Silver City, NM- A common attribute for high school students in Arizona with the ambitions of playing a collegiate sport at a Division Two, Division Three, or NAIA-level would have to be going somewhere out of state given their abilities and sport. Brooklyn Misenhimer is one of these students, a Tucson native, born and raised in the desert state and proud of her roots. She graduated from Sahuaro High School, the home of the Cougars, in 2014. She is currently a redshirt sophomore on the WNMU softball team in her junior year with a 3.93 GPA. She is double majoring in Psychology and Sociology where she plans to get her Bachelor’s here at WNMU in 2018, then a Master’s in Neuropsychology. Her goals are to eventually work within a neuroscience practice with plans to move up in the business. She wants to be able to work with Alzheimer’s patients and hopes to make a difference in not only their lives, but the families that are affected as well.
Brooklyn’s background in getting to Western New Mexico University is one that isn’t always commonly heard of. She started off as a freshman at the University of North Texas where she attended for one year. The thing she noticed at that university was, “the amount of students and how big my classes were. My smallest class was 50 students and my biggest was 200.” Brooklyn felt as if she was just another student with the inability to feel completely welcomed or have a sense of belonging. Her visit to Western provided her with a “reassuring feeling.” She got the feeling that this is where she was meant to start the next chapter in her college career. “My mother and father are both WNMU alumni and I knew that they were both able to experience their college life to the fullest here. I have a strong belief that everything happens for a reason, and I could not be more thankful that my journey brought me to WNMU.”
While Brooklyn would not change her experiences at the University of North Texas that first year where she made great friends and learned some good life lessons, she is grateful for the opportunity she has been given to be a Mustang. “Here at WNMU I know everyone of my classmates’ names, have the ability to participate in classroom discussions, and know people will actually care for what I have to say.”
On top of being a scholar student-athlete, she is very involved within the university’s community, making time for not only being a student-athlete, but also being a part of various clubs such as the Psychology club, SAAC (Student-Athletic Advisory Committee), and the Math Club. Brooklyn says that her favorite part of Silver City, aside from the green chili, has to be the scenery. “It is such a nice change from the city life I experienced in Tucson. There’s so much to do here in this town, whether it’s going to a cute coffee shop with friends or going on a hike in the Gila Forest.”
Choosing a college is never an easy decison because it is ultimately the first step in a big decision that could possibly shape the rest of your life, and going out of state is often not ideal for most students, as it is further from family and often more expensive. But Western New Mexico University came to be the place that Brooklyn Misenhimer is happy with as her family can see her play softball, it isn’t so far of a drive, and she can have an affordable higher education. By being open to options that she may not have considered in the first place, Brooklyn has seen where an open mind can take her in life, and accepting that life is full of twist and turns taking us along for the ride.
Additional Writing by Marissa Aguirre