As many students can attest to, college is no joke.
College has a way of suffocating its victims with homework, exams and work. Finding the time to eat, let alone sleep, is a constant struggle in the chaos that is college.
As a student, it makes us appreciate watching one of our peers like Bernie Schneider, Shippensburg University’s 2018 homecoming queen, thrive in all of the endeavors she takes on and lives to tell the tale.
Originally from Exton, Pennsylvania, Schneider began her journey at SU in 2015 as a double major in criminal justice and psychology.
“I know it sounds strange, but the second I stepped onto Ship’s campus, I just knew this is where I need to be,” Schneider said.
In her four years at SU, her intuition served her right. This was the place where she made the kind of friendships and memories that can last a person a lifetime.
Schneider used her time here at SU wisely by immersing herself into as many opportunities as possible, including the role of a resident’s assistant for three years.
She is a member of SU’s student-led theatrical club, Act V Theatrical Co., where she composed and directed “21 Chump Street.”
“‘21 Chump Street’ was more than I could have ever imagined,” Schneider said. “It’s incredible getting to watch your ideas come to life on the stage.”
Schneider said she first fell in love with law enforcement by watching crime shows on TV such as “Criminal Minds” and “Law and Order.” The mindset and the psychology behind the processes of law depicted within the shows gave Schneider a window, into which she saw her future.
When she first came to SU, she thought she would be learning how to become a police officer. However, the law classes that led to numerous discussions with professor Stephanie Jirard revealed to her a future as a lawyer.
Schneider practices her law skills as the president of SU’s Mock Trial, in which criminal justice students from 100 universities compete by reenacting a trial from an assigned fake case. They preform everything from questioning witnesses in front of a judge and presenting evidence to a jury.
Schneider, who competes as a defense attorney, is responsible for making sure everything is in order before the competition, and works side-by-side with Jirard, the Mock Trial adviser.
After graduation, she plans on attending law school with the goal of being a public defense attorney. She is on the road to applying for law schools.
While Columbia University holds a special place in her heart as her dream school, Schneider is also applying to Brooklyn Law School. She imagines herself being in New York above all.
Through all her titles and accomplishments, Schneider does not end her legacy there. She will be able to end this school year graciously wearing a crown upon her head, as SU’s homecoming queen.
She was especially motivated to run for homecoming court this year since the candidates were required to raise money for the Hound Packs organization, which helps feed hungry children in the Shippensburg community. Schneider raised a little more than $1,700 through a combination of a GoFundMe and emailing almost every professor and administrator to ask for donations.
“The homecoming court experience was insane,” she said. “It got really stressful trying to raise money and complete service hours in three weeks, but it was super rewarding. I don’t regret a minute of it.”
Through all her success in her time at SU, Schneider is most excited to graduate and move on to a law school, where she can experience a new life in the city and be able to meet new people.
“It’s kind of a very big moment for me to say I was able to finish two degrees in four years. I am just very excited,” Schneider said.