Meet A Senior: Daisy Elliot

Interview by Mary Grace Shirk

We had the privilege of sitting down with Daisy Elliot, a member of the graduating class of 2023 at Eastern Oregon University. As the Student Council for Multicultural Affairs coordinator, Daisy’s journey through EOU has been shaped by her love for the outdoors, the pursuit of her chosen field, and the transformative experiences she has had on campus. 

Why did you choose EOU?

“I chose EOU because my fiance was attending. That is the main reason, but also because it was an absolutely beautiful campus and I wanted the experience of coming out into the mountains and enjoying the outdoors. The outdoor adventure program was a huge deciding factor for me. I have used their rentals and hiking and rock climbing wall so many times since being a student. It’s a great benefit.”

What’s your major and why did you choose it?
“My major is Cybersecurity. I chose it because I failed math and computer science, so I chose to make computer science my minor so I didn’t have to take Calc 2, but also because I went to a hacking camp in my freshman year of high school and I just picked it and I stuck with it.”

What was your favorite extracurricular activity and why?
“I took an outdoor survival class and I got to go into the woods and build a shelter and start a fire, and that was a very fun experience. I enjoyed doing that once — and then never again.”

Why did you enjoy it?

“I think it was a really fun challenge and a very good sense of community among the, like, twelve people that were there, of eating cold undercooked oatmeal at 4 in the morning in the woods after being up all night, freezing. But it was a good experience to come together, and now I feel that if I were abandoned in the woods, I would have a fighting chance.”

What was your favorite part of EOU?

“I think my favorite part is probably all of the student programs outside of classes. Like the outdoor adventure program, and all of our art programs, and basically just campus-life programs. I think that’s what I enjoyed the most, because I moved here away from all of my family and friends.”

What is a memory from a time here that brings you joy?
“I once forced all of my friends to go rock climbing because no one else wanted to, and on the way to our rock climbing session that we had booked, someone was in the parking lot because their car had a flat, and we all stopped and helped them change their flat tire, and get their car, and then go to rock climbing. I think it’s a very good example of how community living on the campus works. They didn’t know how to change a tire, they just moved out of their parents’ house. I happen to know how to change a tire, so I stopped and helped them, and then we all went rock climbing. Very good community.”

What impact did the pandemic have on your college experience?
“A huge impact, because I started here in 2020, I’ve only been here for 3 years, so because I started here in 2020, I moved into my dorm locked down, not meeting my roommates, getting locked into my room and having my food delivered to me. That had a huge impact. I think it did impact how I got to know other students because I was supposed to stay in my room, so I didn’t really mingle with people, even more than I already would not have, [laughs] but once that was stopped and we could see other students in other dorms again, I think it was mainly minimized. But yeah, it did have a pretty big impact in the beginning.”

How have you changed throughout your time here? 

“Oh, I’ve changed so much since I came here, because I came here 18-years-old, fresh out of my parents’ house, and I now live independently. I think it’s a big testament to how college helps people. I’d absolutely recommend moving out of your hometown and away from your parents, because it is such a learning and growth experience.”

What’s next after graduation, and how did the school prepare you for your career?

[Laughs] “That’s a great question. I have no idea what’s next, but I feel that I was mostly prepared because they warned me that my career specifically is a lot of learning on the job, so even though I feel like I could not do a cybersecurity job right now, I have been reassured that that’s a part of it — that you have to learn as you go.”

Do you have any advice for incoming students?
“Utilize the outdoor program. Go hiking and go to Morgan Lake, because it will be so much more fun than your non-outdoor friends will convince you that it will be. You can convince people to go hiking with you. It might be hard at first, but you can convince people to go hiking with you — and they will enjoy themselves.”

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