Joyful, challenging, fulfilling: The first-year experience through Madison Bick’s eyes

BSN major Madison Bick works a shift at the front desk of Oak Hall. She concluded her freshman year at UMSL this spring with a 4.0 GPA and two campus awards including "Desk Assistant of the Year" and “Shining Star.” (Photo by August Jennewein)

BSN major Madison Bick works a shift at the front desk of Oak Hall. She concluded her freshman year at UMSL this spring with a 4.0 GPA and two campus awards including “Desk Assistant of the Year” and “Shining Star.” (Photo by August Jennewein)

With New Student Orientations kicking off this month for the fall semester, it’s exciting to learn of all the opportunities the University of Missouri–St. Louis offers to incoming freshmen. Just ask College of Nursing student Madison Bick, who wrapped up her first year at UMSL this spring, and she’ll tell you incoming freshmen are in for quite a year.

“As a whole, my freshman year was nothing short of a dream – I learned, I grew, and I definitely treasured every single moment,” said Bick, who chose UMSL for its outstanding nursing program and the Pierre Laclede Honors College. “The community I found here is incredible and so supportive.”

Bick’s UMSL journey began with a career path already in mind. She’s earning a nursing degree to get into graduate school for midwifery – an interest she discovered at 15 while watching the Netflix documentary, “The Business of Being Born.”

“I began researching and reading about midwives in more underprivileged, low-income areas and the importance of that work,” Bick said. “I started to see the issues surrounding birth – the ‘them and I’ and ‘them and us’ issue – and I realized when I grew up, that would be an issue I faced, and it became personal.”

As a future midwife, she wants to promote “birth without fear.”

“It’s not some medical procedure or process,” Bick said. “It’s the gift of delivering a person into the world.”

She takes that stance seriously, realizing that her experience at UMSL is the start of something greater in her life.

“I’m here because I want to make a difference,” Bick said. “I know everyone says that, but college is a platform for me to help these moms and babies that otherwise might not be helped. I want to be a woman for other women.”

Her goal is to one day open a nonprofit for mothers and children who need a little extra treatment and maybe can’t afford prenatal of postnatal care.

And while Bick’s future looms large in her mind and studies, she is also making the most of her present by tapping into the campus community.

In her first year, she joined Student’s for Life, Triton Health Educators and UMSL’s Residential Hall Association, where she worked as a desk assistant in UMSL’s Oak Hall.

“Being a desk assistant gives you a unique opportunity to get a snippet into the lives of people,” Bick said. “A lot of people will come up and confide in you, tell you how their day’s been or tell you what’s going on in their life. You’re kind of a fixture in their new home, so you’re in a unique situation to interact with them.”

At this spring’s One is Done Celebration, Residential Life awarded her the 2016 “Desk Assistant of the Year” and the Office of Student Involvement named her the 2016 “Shining Star.”

Both recognitions are not surprising, considering that Bick was certainly a new face to know on campus. She was featured in UMSL’s 2015 Founders Dinner video and has also had quite a presence in the honors college community.

“The honors college was by far the most cherished and impactful part of my freshman year – the professors there quickly became my friends and the students, my family,” she said.

Looking ahead to sophomore year, Bick will join the honors college’s Student Mentor Advisory and Recruitment Team and be the Honors Living Learning Community residential peer mentor in Oak Hall, which has her living with, mentoring and tutoring fellow honors college students in Professor Kimberly Baldus’ class.

Bick also plans on working with nursing faculty to start a new interest group for incoming nursing freshmen called “Connect,” which will further establish a sense of community and pride within nursing cohorts.

Undergraduate research pertaining to obstetrics and gynecology, maternal health and community health is in Bick’s future as well.

“I’m at a school I love, surrounded by people I love, studying to enter a field that will allow me to better love and serve people every single day,” she said. “Freshman year was unimaginably joyful, challenging and fulfilling. I can’t wait for sophomore year to be all these things and more.”

For more information on New Student Orientation or to register click here.

The UMSL Experience


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