Western Washington University Alumni Association

Sydney Ratzlaff

Major - English/Business
Hometown - Bellingham, WA

I have been set on attending Western for awhile now. I love living in Bellingham and I am excited to be able to expand my education at such an amazing school. I read about the Alumni Association scholarship on the Western website and decided to apply. It was a great opportunity for me - especially because only Western students can win this scholarship. Most scholarships nowadays have so many applicants, it can almost be compared to winning a lottery. I talked to my supervisor, Linda, at the library where I work about writing a letter of recommendation for me. She was very excited to write the letter and kept saying how she had a good feeling about this scholarship! I spent a couple evenings preparing my answers for the essay questions, then submitted them. At this point, the scholarship deadline was approaching, so I decided to drop off the letters and my transcripts in person at the Alumni house.

“I am excited to pursue something I love at a university that will challenge me.”

I was so excited when an Alumni member called me to say that I had received this scholarship! She was very sweet and extremely happy for me. It is such an amazing feeling to know that your hard work has paid off. Like I said above, it can be such a challenge in this day and age to be able to receive money for school. So many others are applying as well. I have saved some money the past few years for school, and with this scholarship, I am very proud to say that I will be able to afford this year of college. It is very tough to work a lot during school, especially in my first year of university. This scholarship will allow me to take off that extra burden. Thank you so much!

I absolutely love reading. Even though I will be doing a lot of it in school, there is still nothing better than cuddling up with a good book. I also love to be outside, whether I am hiking, longboarding, playing with my two big black dogs, or running.

When I was about 14 years old, my family moved from Lynden to Bellingham. I had been at Lynden schools all my life, and now I was moving to Meridian. I was very scared at first, and it was hard to leave all my old friends and teachers behind. However, this experience taught me a lot of things. In life, you probably won’t always know everybody. Meeting new people and making new friends is something that is inevitable. I had to adjust to my new surroundings. I have made lifelong friends at Meridian, and now looking back on the entire experience I would do it all again.