Petting a buffalo among student's goals
Kaitlyn Jackson is a general studies major at LCC who is interested in pursuing social work. Photo by Mallory Stiles
By Mallory Stiles
There is a litany of likes and dislikes that makes every person different, but LCC student Kaitlyn Jackson has a unique blend of tastes that makes her truly one of a kind.
“As a child, I was really into bison and buffalo,” Jackson said. “A lot of kids are obsessed with mermaids or sharks, but my obsession was bison. Don’t ask me why. I had so many buffalo stuffed animals and really wanted to pet one. I still do.”
Her dream of petting a bison still lives, but she is currently chasing some of her other dreams, which she said center around giving back to her community.
Jackson, 20, is a general studies major who is still weighing her options. But she said she feels a strong pull toward social work. She is currently taking Composition 1, U.S. History, and Environmental Science for a total of 12 credits.
“People,” she said. “I love working with people and I want to help. But when you tell people that, they always suggest being a doctor or nurse. But that isn’t really my cup of tea, personally.
“I am more drawn to the social aspect of it. I want to help with things like financial stability, homelessness and mental health.”
Jackson started her college experience at Saginaw Valley State University during the start of the pandemic. When she left, frustrated, LCC was waiting to welcome her with open arms.
“I really like it here at LCC,” Jackson said. “This is my first semester here and I can tell they care more about individual students instead of the numbers, which I think is really cool.”
Jackson also works part-time on top of school, and continues to show her work ethic in everything she does, describing anything less than perfection as failure.
“I am the type of person that takes pride in anything I do,” Jackson said. “Right now I work at Panera. When I am at work, I am working. I am going to do my job and I am going to do it right and I am going to do everything I can.”
Though her dedication is enviable, sometimes her standards pose a problem. She said the pressure she puts on herself can become too much, but with every day she gets a little better at focusing on her own mental health.
“The past couple years, I have been trying to adopt the mentality that people don’t really care that much,” she said. “They are doing their own thing.
“To you, this might be the end of the world, but from an outsider’s perspective it was just a bad five minutes. I just try to be one person in a sea of people, rather than one person that all eyes are on.”
Jackson is fond of her new-found love of traveling, after a trip to Maine where she had delicious lobster and stayed in a cabin that she described as “life changing.” She also enjoys reading and spending time with her loved ones to keep her inspired.
She said her mom is her role model, having been through seemingly everything and never losing her smile. But Jackson is a role model herself. She has an older brother, 27, and a younger sister, 15, named Abigail.
“My big sister and I have the same sense of humor; we get along really well,” Abigail said. “We have had some of the similar struggles and she has come out very well. I am very proud of her and look up to her. She is very funny. Being her little sister is fun and I know I can rely on her.”
Jackson said her family connections are a strong source of inspiration when everything seems to be becoming too much.
“Friends and family keep me going,” Jackson said. “(I love) knowing that there are special people in my life that I think are special, and then in return who think I am special.”