The University’s third annual Weekend of Excellence will take place April 19-21. To prepare for the weekend, we want to introduce you to some of the outstanding students that will be recognized as part of the festivities. Today we introduce you to Samantha Barone. For a full list of events scheduled during the weekend, click here.
Samantha Barone, a junior nursing major, is vice president of recruitment for Panhellenic Council, a member of the Greek Conduct Board, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and the Student Nurses Association of Illinois. Recently, Barone was picked to be one of 10 nursing students that will attend a service immersion trip to Lourdes, France, this summer through campus ministry.
What has been a motivating factor for you in your work here at Loyola?
The individuals that create the Loyola University Chicago community have been a motivating factor during my time here. They are a constant reminder that I need to truly live each and every day to the best of my ability in order to achieve my goals. This is my motivation to strive for excellence; excellence is neither perfection nor brilliance, rather it is striving to be the best version of myself.
What do you think are the highlights of your experience at Loyola?
I have had so many highlights in my experience here at Loyola, but I believe that my top two will forever impact my life. Firstly, going Greek! I was lucky enough to join a group of women that push me every single day to be the best version of myself. Chi Omega is my support system, my motivation, my family, and I will forever be thankful for the friendships and inspiration. Secondly, my first nursing clinical rotation was the most nerve-racking experience, but also the most rewarding. The patients I encountered throughout the entire semester fueled my passion. I am so grateful for the opportunity to touch patients’ lives during a time when they are most vulnerable.
Do you think Loyola has been a rewarding experience? How?
Loyola has been such a rewarding experience. I was able to discover my passions and really shape my future throughout the years. I am most grateful for the opportunities that have been presented to me. The Loyola experience gave me the tools I needed to discover my passion. It has given me the strength to achieve my dreams, to never give up, and to always believe in myself, even if no one else does.
What do you think differentiates Loyola from other universities?
Loyola differs from other universities because we have professors and faculty that care. It does not matter whether one is in a lecture hall with more than 100 students, a small classroom of 25, or one-on-one with a faculty member, a student is still able to build a relationship with their professor. The personal connections we are able to make with these professors and staff members drive one’s success. In my experience, my professors in the Niehoff School of Nursing have gone above and beyond their job description. These professors are so passionate about the work they do that they have inspired me to become a better person. All of the success I have been able to accomplish here at Loyola can be attributed to the interactions with my professors and other faculty.
What advice would you give students about how to get the best out of their education?
Go outside your comfort zone. Strive for excellence—not perfection. Find a passion and follow it. Make friends; friends that you will want around for the rest of your life, and remember it is quality not quantity. Don’t be afraid to fail, the most successful individuals both of present and past generations have failed at some point in their life. The way these individuals overcome their obstacles and achieve success is what actually mattered. Never give anything less than your best; another day is not guaranteed and every single moment you have is precious. And lastly, remember there aren’t any short cuts to anywhere worth going in life. Leave your legacy behind.