Stang Story: Sami Snyder
“I am a junior from Marshalltown, Iowa who is involved with dance and the student ambassadors program. I grew up with my parents and an older brother who I adore. My mom’s family lived in Lawton when I was growing up, so Morningside was a place I always heard about but hadn’t really considered for college. When I started looking at college options I visited other places, but I knew during my visit that Morningside was where I belonged. It sounds cliché, but it just felt right to me.
From the start, I got involved and started connecting with so many great people. In fall 2021, I really realized the full value of being at a small campus where you are truly cared for when my father passed away from complications due to colon cancer after a two-year battle. Everything about his passing happened very quickly and everyone at Morningside immediately rallied around me. My professors handled everything with love and grace, staff and my coach checked on me, my friends stood by me, and my dance coach, teammates, and friends drove three hours to be at the funeral. When the holidays came, people were checking in on me again to make sure I was doing okay. I wasn’t just a student to people here. I was someone who was loved and cared about. I can’t imagine having gone through that experience anywhere else.
Though it was hard, I truly believe my father’s death has made me a better person. I wouldn’t be who I am today if it wasn’t for that experience. Hard things tend to make us better people. It’s beauty that grows from the pain. My parents set my brother and I up for complete success because they taught how to be good people, employees, and students, and the experiences I have had have shown me that staying positive is a key to being the best I can be. Having a positive mindset isn’t easy – it is something I am constantly working on. If you make it a daily thing, though, it makes life so much more enjoyable.
I love life. I love finding joy in life and joy in the little things, and that is something I want to share. That’s one of the reasons I am majoring in elementary education. I want to help create good people and good students who share my joy for life and can find happiness. One thing I really love about Morningside is that my professors are helping support that dream. They want to make a difference for me so I can make a difference for my future students. The strong connections I have built with my professors here is something I know I will be paying forward to my students for a long time to come, and I am so grateful for that.
College can be very hard and it is a time of growing. People go through a lot of different things during these years. That is a normal thing, and my message to anyone struggling out there is that odds are, you can find your way through it and come out on the right side by maintaining a positive attitude and finding joy in life. In the grand scheme of things, there is a lot of good to enjoy, and I intend to do just that with my life.”
- Sami Snyder, junior, joyfully preparing to help create a brighter future for her students and all those who know her