Meghan Gallagher is a cheerful and well-rounded senior in the class of 2019 who is double majoring in Spanish and LALACS.
She appreciates how these two areas of study really worked well together, and how language can be used to change the world in a positive way.
One of the most significant moments she has had in relation to her majors is studying abroad in Alicante, Spain. It was one of the most memorable experiences that changed her life.
She loved seeing a new part of the world, especially since it was her first time abroad in Europe. She realized that studying her two majors is so much bigger than in the classroom.
Because she hopes to work with immigrant families after graduating from Gustavus, and she believes her world experiences will help her accomplish that.
“I think we live in a world today where we really need to embrace our differences instead of have our differences divide us. Spanish is my way of connecting to another culture and another group of people,” Gallagher said.
One of the insights she gained was how the lifestyle was much more relaxed in Spain, along with the emphasis on mental well-being which she appreciated.
Meghan was also fond of the importance of family communication and being at home with loved ones. She compared that to the United States where individuals are more work-focused and industrialized to the point of not taking care of themselves.
She thought it was the place where she learned how to appreciate herself more, and gained independence from travelling alone because she was the only student from Gustavus who went there.
In fact, she was the one of only two students from Minnesota in the entire program. Before studying abroad, she took a variety of interesting classes that prepared her for this experience such as “Faces of Spain,” with Ana Adam.
It taught her the cultural differences and improved her language skills a lot. This class touches on the history of how Spain’s influence touches on various countries such as Columbia, and Argentina.
She also enjoys taking classes from her LALACS advisor, Suzanne Wilson, such as “Globalization,” where she learned the importance of embracing other cultures.
“In the United States, we expect everyone to be the same as us, in the sense that everyone should know who we are as Americans as people should respect our Westernized norms, and our views of the world, and the truth is there are a million views in the world and each perspective is unique to each person, so it’s important to see each perspective as a story and each person as important,” Gallagher said.
Aside from her academic pursuits, she has also been apart of many student organizations throughout Gustavus. This includes being a Marketing Executive on the Campus Activities Board, a member of Choice Council, and is currently the President of Hall Council for the International Center.
When Meghan first came to Gustavus, it was scary because of the new environment and because she was living away from home for the first time.
She really found a home by living in a Choice section in Co-Ed, and still keeps in touch with several of the girls that were in her section in 1A.
The most remarkable part of the Choice Program for her is that it gives the option for someone to be substance-free, especially during their first few years at college.
She also enjoys participating in many of the Christian organizations on campus such as Proclaim. This is also her fourth year working in the Career Development Center where she enjoys helping students edit their resumes and cover letters, and learn about life after Gustavus.
“The environment in the Career Center is so positive and uplifting. I love every single staff member there and I’ve made connections with my co-workers that are meaningful. I really enjoy helping students from all stages whether it’s a first-year coming in wanting to take the strong interest inventory or a senior that’s finalizing their resume for that first job interview,” Gallagher said.
She loves seeing how different students come in and are changed because of the help they received in the Career Center. Along with that, she has made various meaningful memories which revolve around the long-lasting friendships while establishing lifelong connections with so many wonderful people.
One of the best moments was being a CAB Executive and was planning the Big Concert for 2016.
“I got to meet Hunter Hayes and help out with that event and it was one of the first times where I felt that I was truly part of something greater. I was part of an event that was helping the community and providing entertainment for the community,” Gallagher said.
In terms of her plans for the future, Meghan’s main goal is to serve humanity, whether it is assisting families trying to become citizens of the United States, helping individuals learn through means of education, or translating for people who need help learning English.
She thinks communication, positivity, and loving others are qualities she will carry into the real world. She also values standing up for her beliefs and is eager to use that into a work environment..
She credits Gustavus as making her a more caring and empathetic person which she will be able to use for the rest of her life. In a larger sense, she wants to take additional time to enjoy on-campus events, and to live each moment day by day.
“I would say not every day is good but there’s good in each day. Even though college can feel like an insurmountable task, if you find the little things to appreciate and enjoy, it will be worth it in the end because it flies by,” Gallagher said.