Photo provided by Katherine Libby.

Second-year University of Maine student Katherine, or Katie, Libby found her place at UMaine despite being nearly 2,700 miles away from home. As a transfer student, especially amidst a pandemic, becoming involved and feeling like a part of the UMaine community was a challenge. However, she was able to let down her guard and meet new people, finding where she belonged.

Libby recently attended El Camino College (ECC) in Torrance, California for a year and a half to study nursing before transferring to UMaine. During her time at ECC, she was a member of the Pre-Med Club and on the Dean’s list. Growing up about 30 minutes away from ECC in Los Angeles, Libby had the desire to travel to see the different sceneries our country has to offer. She longed for the opportunity to attend a four-year university and gain the full college experience with the time that she still had left. With those passions in mind, she ended up transferring and landed right here in Orono, Maine at the ‘college of our hearts always’.

In Los Angeles, Libby grew up with her younger twin siblings, Alex and Stephanie. She has fond memories of going to the beach once a week and experiencing random encounters with celebrities while simply going to the grocery store. As a big city girl her whole life, starting a new chapter in a small, New England town sounded like the perfect fit.

Now living on campus in the transfer living community at UMaine, Libby is working towards her bachelor’s degree in nursing, and recently became a new member of the Delta Zeta sorority. She is also a member of the Circle of Sisterhood Club.

“My favorite memory so far in my sorority was the Big-Little reveal day,” Libby said. “I found out my Big was Liz and I knew I was going to love this sorority forever.”

In her spare time here on campus, Libby hangs out with her new friend group in her residence hall, socializes and bonds in her sorority and studies hard for her challenging science courses. Libby also enjoys reading, going on hikes and driving her new car.

Once Libby receives her nursing degree, she hopes to become a registered nurse and work as a traveling nurse. Her dream location to work in is Vermont, as she feels she would enjoy and fit into small towns to change it up from her upbringing in a large, upbeat city. Nursing has always been her calling and passion, as all she wants to do is have the ability to make a difference and positively impact people’s lives.

“The children of the hospital that I volunteered at in high school inspired me to become a nurse,” Libby said. “I saw how happy nurses made them and I knew I wanted that to be me making them smile one day.”

Last year, at the start of the pandemic before coming to UMaine, Libby worked at an OB/GYN medical practice at both the front and back desks. She assisted in procedures, recorded vital signs and scheduled appointments and surgeries by serving as overall office manager to further prepare herself for her nursing studies.

Libby’s ultimate life goal and dream would be to work at a private practice as a family nurse practitioner. If she does pursue her master’s degree, she would work as a registered nurse for roughly a year beforehand. She would love to stay in Maine when studying for her master’s, as the vacation state has come to grow on her. 

Libby is ecstatic to be moving closer to her third-year and to begin her clinicals caring for older adults. She can hardly contain her excitement, as these clinicals will better prepare her for what she ultimately wants to concentrate on for nursing: family and internal medicine.

With the spring 2021 semester coming to an end soon, her plans for this summer are to stay living in Orono and to work at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor as a secretary for the cardiac unit. Aside from work, she hopes to find the time to adventure out and explore the wilderness that Maine has to offer, including visiting Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park.