From One Home to Another: My Journey From Kolbe Academy to Franciscan University

I grew up in southeast Michigan, in a very small town where there were no Catholic schools. When I was in eighth grade, I started attending Kolbe Academy. My experience with Kolbe was fantastic and exactly what I needed. I felt right at home there and continued the program through high school. Being able to meet people from around the country and the world opened my horizons in ways I had never dreamed possible.

My faith has always been an integral part of my life, so when it came time to look at colleges, I knew I wanted to go to a Catholic school. I visited several schools, but when I went for a tour of Franciscan University, I knew it was where I was meant to be. With four Masses a day every weekday, confession four times a week, perpetual adoration, and chapels in the dorms, it had everything I wanted. It felt like home.

A few years earlier, during my sophomore year at Kolbe, I had become very good friends with Lauren, a classmate who lived in Maryland. As it turned out, Lauren also decided to attend Franciscan, and we ended up being roommates our freshman year! Getting to live together and continue our friendship in person was an amazing blessing. We learned that friendships from Kolbe are real and can last a lifetime.

When I started classes at Franciscan in 2022, my transition from high school to college felt easy and smooth, because Kolbe had prepared me so well academically. My Franciscan classes and professors have been wonderful, and I’ve especially enjoyed getting to take courses in my major, clinical psychology. This is another reason I wanted to go to a Catholic school: to infuse the faith into my goal of becoming a therapist for teens and young adults.

Franciscan also has lots of opportunities for ministry, and I’ve gotten involved in many ways, such as volunteering with a youth group for inner-city students, doing homeless ministry, leading high school and college retreats, and serving weekly on an intercessory prayer team.

It’s funny, but one thing that surprised me when I came to college was that I learned I wasn’t an introvert! Being around so many people my own age made me realize how much I enjoy meeting new people.

While I’ve made many wonderful new friends here, one thing I love about this campus is that even the people I haven’t met feel like friends. Everyone is so kind, and so intentional, that those you’re walking past on the way to class smile at you, even if you’ve never talked to them in your life.

Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in everything going wrong in our culture, but the people at Franciscan give me hope for the future of the world.

To any Kolbe Academy student considering Franciscan University, I would say this: If God wants you here, he is going to tell you. And if you feel at home at Kolbe, you’re going to feel at home at Franciscan.

Blog Post written by:

Juliette Noel

Juliette Noel