Whitney Beals: Letter to a Future STUdent


If you are reading this, then there is a good chance you are already in the midst of researching and making decisions about which university you would like to attend. For some, this is a very stressful time in life, for others it is exciting—often it is both. Regardless of where your experience falls, take a moment to cherish these transitional moments of early adulthood.


My name is Whitney Beals, and I am a 2018 graduate of St. Thomas University. I am currently teaching English Language Arts and Social Studies at the middle school level in Miramichi—a profession for which my undergraduate degree at STU prepared me in several ways. I grew up in Bangor, Maine and after touring the STU campus and sitting in on an Aquinas class, I realized STU was the small liberal arts university I was looking for.


I graduated with honours in Great Books, a major in English, and a minor in Human Rights. My experience with the Great Books program, which combines the study of English Literature, Philosophy, and Political Science, was nothing less than transformative. This discussion-based, team-taught program provided me with the opportunity to both explore and challenge the limits of my own mind. Not only did I make some of my closest friends in the confines of our classroom, but I also developed positive and trusting relationships with my professors, who even threw the Great Books graduates of 2018 our own grad party.


The education I received at STU prepared me for my career not only insofar as it trained me to understand complex texts and helped cultivate my understanding of English, but it also allowed me to explore my own values, motives, and hopes. It taught me about the person I want to be, and about the place I want to have within my community. I was encouraged to think critically, to challenge my own and others’ perspectives—but also to seek to understand and appreciate the truth within an opinion I may not wholeheartedly agree with. As a teacher, I believe my job is a labour of love, and that education is a way in which we can learn to love this world we live in. St. Thomas prepared me to take on this responsibility.


I met many life-long friends during these four formative years of my life. I met many in my first year living in Harrington Hall. I also met several friends in classes and through the International Students’ Association, running cross country, and through other extracurricular activities. I will always remember my time at STU fondly and will forever be thankful I made the choice to attend this university.

Take care and good luck,
Whitney Beals