Sometimes, where you start is not always where you finish. For Western Colorado University senior, Kinlee Whitney, this was the case for her college education.
Originally from Newcastle, Wyoming, Kinlee started her college career at a local institution before transferring to University of Wyoming.
“My first semester at the University of Wyoming was great; I played piccolo in the Western Thunder Marching band and I had so many friends, but the school was large, about 16,000 people,” Kinlee said.
“I did not feel like I was getting a good education. I felt like I was a number, not a person,” she said. “After that year’s spring break, I actually dropped out and moved back home. My plan was to live rent-free with my parents, work for a year, and then move anywhere else.”
“After about two months of living with my parents as an adult, I googled ‘cheapest four-year schools in Colorado’ and Western was the first one. In July I received my acceptance letter and was ready to attend classes just a month later.”
Kinlee has had an idea of what she wanted to do for a living since high school but ended up changing her major a few times before choosing the Strategic Communication emphasis in the Communication Arts major.
Kinlee, who anticipates graduating in May of 2021, wants to go into the field of communications straight out of college.
“I have many goals, but I mostly just want to be self-sufficient, so my parents never have to pay for anything for me ever again,” Kinlee said. “As far as career goals go, I have considered many things. For now, I am focusing on school and building my resume with versatile experience so that, when I do know my goals, nothing will hold me back.”
Getting Involved on Campus
When Kinlee is not in the classroom, she enjoys cheering on the Mountaineers when they are competing. Her favorite Western memory is traveling to Grand Junction in 2019 when the Western football team took on the Colorado Mesa Mavericks and won by a last second field goal.
“Even though I hardly knew anyone there, in that moment we were all Western and we all won,” Kinlee said.
As far as advice for prospective students, Kinlee suggests taking advantage of any opportunity that becomes available.
“Opportunities come and go, but you have to take them,” Kinlee said. “You are not going to get every opportunity that is presented to you, but if you do not at least try you will not get any.”
Ready to become a Mountaineer? Learn more about admissions at Western’s.
Author Credit: Caitlin Gleason
Photo Credit: Emma Brophy