Bella Ison

Bella IsonMajor: Accounting and finance

Favorite quote: "You is kind. You is smart. You is important."

Biggest mistake as a first-year student? What did you learn? My biggest mistake as a first-year was not listening to people about being overinvolved. I never knew how to say “no” when someone asked me to help, and so I took on a lot of commitments my first year. Then spring semester hit me and I was drowning in commitments between school, work and organizations. Eventually I had to choose the things that were the most important to me and cut out the rest. Overall, you have to remember to take care of yourself, even if that means saying “no” every once in a while.

How did you choose your major? My freshman year I came in declared as a biology major and chemistry minor, and I am now an accounting finance major. I quickly realized that I did not like working in the lab and the material just didn’t interest me like it did in high school. So, I started taking some general courses to get my general credits out of the way and I ended up taking some introduction to business and accounting courses and I fell in love with the courses and the awesome professors. I am a definitely someone who came to college with a plan, but you can’t plan for everything. Pick something you’re passionate about and don’t be afraid to switch majors. Trust me - it’s worth it!

What has been your best experience at BW? One of my favorite things about BW is the vast amount of opportunities offered to students on campus. I am lucky enough to be a part of a few different organizations on campus and it is through those organizations that I have had the best experiences of my life. As an orientation leader last year I was able to welcome first-year students to campus, and it made me appreciate the University even more. I grew incredibly close with our staff members, and it has become something that I talk about quite often. Going into this year, I can’t wait to do it all over!

Favorite spot on campus? My favorite spot on campus is a place called “The Bubble,” located in the Conservatory. It sits on the third floor of the Conservatory in an isolated wing of the building with only windows for walls so that you’re surrounded by a view on all four sides. From the inside, you can look out onto the lawn of Marting and the historic district, and you can even see a little bit of downtown Berea. I love coming to that cozy little alcove to study, read and even just relax. I also like the fact that it is in the Conservatory, because it gives me an opportunity to see more of campus.

Best piece of advice given to you? When I left for college, my parents really never gave me any advice. They simply said, “You know right from wrong by now,” and that was that. I liked to think I knew what responsibility was before I came to college, but there was truly no comparison. I started to realize that I had actual responsibilities in my life now, because no one else was there to decide things for me. I finally understood that my parents had given me advice after all. In those few words my parents had told me, what they actually meant was “Be yourself and don’t let others influence your thoughts or actions, because you’re only responsible for yourself at the end of the day.” Of course, my parents were right – as parents usually are – and I work on making the right decisions for myself each day.  So, don’t let your responsibilities catch you off guard, and be more proactive then reactive.

One thing you want the incoming students to know as they get ready for their summer orientation experience? If I could give a first-year student a “how-to” book on preparing for orientation, the only rule would be to have an open mind. College is a completely new experience for everyone around you, and it’s natural that everyone will be a little scared. However, it is how people show their fear that will differ. Have an open mind when you’re meeting someone new, because their reserved persona may just be nerves. Have an open mind when you have to participate in an activity, because you might end up liking it. Most importantly, have an open mind when you start making decisions about BW, because this will hopefully be your home for the next four years.