Hello, all you incoming Bengals!

My name is Brianna Gibson, but my friends call me Bri. I hope that New Student Orientation will make all of us friends, so please do call me Bri! I am a junior here at Idaho State University, and I am majoring in Secondary Education with an emphasis in English. I am incredibly excited for NSO 2016, and I cannot wait to meet all of you!

In high school, I was extremely resistant to the concept of attending Idaho State University. Not only would I be a second generation Bengal because my parents graduated from ISU, but my older sister was also attending ISU. Being the youngest in my family, I wanted to branch out, create an identity for myself separate from my parents and sister, and have a unique experience. However, I discovered that Idaho State University was in fact the place where I could establish my individuality and truly come into my own without compromising a quality education or a fun experience!

Paint Party 2015

I am originally from Twin Falls, Idaho which is a little over an hour and a half away from Pocatello. Before I decided to attend Idaho State University, I thought I needed to distance myself even more from my family in order to truly experience my independence. Since I have been at ISU, though, I think this is an ideal distance from my family. I am far enough away from home that I don’t see my family all of the time; however, I am close enough to home that I can drive home for a weekend easily. I’ve still had plenty of opportunities to be independent and “adult;” but, I can honestly say that it’s nice to have family close in proximity to ask questions or even just get a nice, home-cooked meal.

During my junior year of high school, I visited my sister at school, went to multiple ISU football games, and I eventually took a tour of the campus. I was blown away by the beauty of this campus! Furthermore, I knew that I wanted to be an education major, and ISU has a stellar education program—the best program in Idaho, if I do say so myself. ISU also has an incredible Honors Program, and I knew it would be a great opportunity to be a part of that organization. Moreover, I was definitely attracted to the on-campus housing here. In spite of my best efforts to fight my Bengal heritage, Idaho State just checked so many of my “must haves.” When I took a tour for myself and got to experience the campus independent of my family’s bias, coming here just felt right. By the time I graduated from high school, I was so excited to attend ISU!

New Student Orientation team 2015


As soon as I attended the first day of New Student Orientation, I knew that Idaho State was the best home away from home that I could have picked. I learned that my college experience was not about being independent or alone; rather, it is about finding a community that allows you to be yourself while still feeling like you belong. College is not about abandoning your identity to find a new one; it is about stepping into your identity and realizing your full potential. I finally gave in to my Bengal Blood, and it was the most rewarding choice I ever made! I have made so many friends, broadened my horizons, academically pushed myself, taken advantage of countless opportunities, and grown so much, already. I have found that Idaho State is not simply a part of my family–Idaho State is a part of me. The experience I have had here is mine alone, and it has shaped me into the person I am proud to be today. I would not trade this experience for the world.

I am proud of my Bengal family; but, more than that, I am proud to be a part of an even larger Bengal family that welcomed me with open arms from the start of my journey. And now, I can’t wait to welcome you to the Bengal family!

Feel free to follow me on social media!

Twitter: @IdahoStBri
Instagram: @idahostatebri

#IdahoState #IdahoStateNSO