'Having the opportunity to go to college and earn a nursing degree has been such a privilege'
Jan. 30, 2014
IU senior Natalie Cahill got an early glimpse of college life in Bloomington during campus visits with her mom and dad -- an IU alum -- and then through her three older siblings, all of whom have since graduated from IU.
"I always imagined myself here," said Cahill, now a senior majoring in nursing. "It’s so big, yet so small."
Even during her freshman year -- a sometimes-stressful period of fear and adaption to new challenges -- she felt a sense of belonging. Helping make her comfortable on campus: the Hudson and Holland Scholars program, which led Cahill to some of her closest friends.
As the middle child of seven -- four brothers and two sisters -- Cahill has siblings ranging in age from fifth-grader Scott to sister Dana, 30, who lives in Washington, D.C., and works for the Department of Defense. Her parents celebrated their 31st wedding anniversary in 2013.
"My dad has instilled the values of hard work and humility in each of us children," she said. "My mom dedicated her life to raising us, and for that I am forever grateful. Her positive attitude and genuine sincerity is something I aspire to every day. I love them all very much, and I would not be who I am today without them. They’re my everything."
Her IU education has led Cahill to travel with a medical brigade to Guatemala through IU’s Timmy Global Health, an outreach organization that empowers students and volunteers to help tackle global health challenges.
For 52 weeks, the Bloomington chapter of the group raised funds and advocated on behalf of the foundation. They then traveled to Guatemala to providing health care to help address global health care disparities.
"The experience has been formative in my nursing training," she said.
After graduation, Cahill wants to work with premature babies in the neonatal intensive care unit or in the labor and delivery unit, serve on medical trips with the Timmy Foundation and offer help with free clinics in her community.
"Having the opportunity to go to college and earn a nursing degree has been such a privilege," she said. "I hope to use this opportunity to give to others and do as much good as possible."