Kaylee Richardson ’22 – Locally Grown

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Kaylee Richardson ’22 is a born and raised Olivetian. The University of Olivet was a clear choice for her because of its accounting program and the opportunity to continue in athletics. Her proximity to the school made the decision even easier, and she commuted her first two years as a student. However, by the time her junior year rolled around, she was ready for a change.

Kaylee played soccer in her first year. The other soccer players lived together, so they naturally spent a lot of time with each other. Since Kaylee did not have that experience, connecting with the team was more challenging.

In her sophomore year, Kaylee switched from soccer to cross country and enjoyed the team atmosphere and dynamic. She eventually knew she wanted to be closer to the team, so in the second semester of her junior year, she moved onto campus and never looked back. During her first semester on campus, Kaylee lived in Shipherd Hall, our co-ed dorm, which houses 296 students in suite-style rooms that share a private bathroom. Her roommate was also on the track team, so their similar schedules and established camaraderie made for an easy transition.

After she moved on campus, Kaylee ate lunch and dinner with the cross country and track teams almost every day. There is just something about sharing meals that deepen friendships and strengthen bonds.

“It was really nice just to be there for more things. If I wanted to go to a basketball game or if there was something I needed to do, I could walk there instead of coming from home,” she said. This was particularly helpful, as Kaylee was a member of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, Accounting Student Organization and President Leadership Institute.

She also learned a lot as she moved out of her home and lived on her own. One thing she learned was how to live with a roommate, a good life skill that you don’t necessarily get at home. Kaylee said it was an opportunity for her to gain lifelong friends while also learning practical things, like how to work together to keep the room clean.

Kaylee encourages students moving out for the first time to have fun and enjoy this new season of life, but to remember they are first and foremost students, “We are here for an education first,” she said. “Make good choices because there will be a lot of them to make!”

Local students may question why they’d want to live on campus if they can live at home. Kaylee said, “I think it’s a really great opportunity to get to know people on a different level. You only have one chance to go to college so make the most of it.”

Kaylee’s time at The University of Olivet is now complete. She graduated in the top ten of her class and is excited to begin a career in accounting. She will never forget her time at The University of Olivet—the athletic teams, the professors she got to know so well, the students around her and her roommates. Her college journey may be over, and a new adventure is just beginning, but she’ll be ready for the challenge, having experienced what it means to live and make decisions independently.

Learn more about The University of Olivet by contacting the Office of Admission at 269-749-7635 or admissions@uolivet.edu.

This feature was written by Savannah Baker, a senior studying English and business. The former editor of Olivet’s literary journal, Garfield Lake Review, Savannah now pursues her interest in writing and editing as a marketing intern with The University of Olivet.


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