Clare Mitchell, '18

Clare Mitchell stands outside of the Mabee Chapel.

Although senior Clare Mitchell is a Rockhurst legacy, choosing Rockhurst wasn’t an immediate decision.

“I was actually baptized in Mabee Chapel. Both of my parents came here and I’ve had a bunch of cousins come here before me,” Mitchell said. “It has always kind of been on my radar, but I didn’t necessarily see myself coming here until second semester of my senior year.”

Mitchell looked and applied at many schools before deciding to come to Rockhurst.

“I ended up applying to I think 14 different places, and they were all across the board,” Mitchell said. “I wanted somewhere that was in a city with good opportunities so I could make good networking connections.”

During her senior year of high school, Mitchell participated in a senior service project at St. Teresa’s Academy, where she realized how important the service aspect of Rockhurst was to her.

“I was working at Our Lady of Guadalupe which is a school in Westside Kansas City, and it’s a primarily Latino population. I realized during my time there that I definitely wanted to go to a Jesuit school with Catholic values,” Mitchell said. “It was a really humbling experience.”

Having so many family members come before her, Mitchell found it difficult forming her own identity.

“My cousins are very smart,” Mitchell said. “They’re all rocking it, and it’s been harder for me to reach out to pre-med advisors — I feel like they have this expectation because all of my cousins have totally killed it. I’m taking a gap year before medical school, which is fine but it’s not something you really do in my family.”

Mitchell found other organizations on campus, like Alpha Sigma Alpha and Irish dance club, and embraced other opportunities where she could become her own person.

“Because all of my cousins and I were pre-med, we were involved in that same thing, but also both of my cousins were Zeta (Tau Alpha) and I’m an ASA,” Mitchell said. “I got involved in things that they didn’t get involved in.”

Mitchell worked hard to find her own identity on campus, but she advised others not to avoid a school because they’re afraid of not being able to stand alone.

“I think that there’s definitely pros and cons to going to a school where all of your family has gone,” Mitchell said. “I always had Danny (Mitchell, ‘17), he was a year older than me, and I miss him so much. They’ve been really good role models for me too.”

Mitchell has been surprised how Rockhurst has become an extended family to her.

“I really like how personal Rockhurst is,” Mitchell said. “I wasn’t expecting to feel this sense of family that I have. I came here with family members and now I feel like I have an extended Rockhurst family.”