Balancing three degrees, along with a multitude of extracurricular activities, University of New Mexico fall 2020 graduate Victoria Knight is ready to enter the world with an open heart for new possibilities.
Knight is graduating a semester early with a liberal arts major and mathematics and honors minors.
Unlike many other graduates, Knight still has her options open for possibilities of the future after school, considering various positions including mechanics.
Throughout her time at UNM, Knight said she wanted to settle into the person she was going to be for the rest of her life and really find her own personality, especially after being raised in a military family where they never stayed in one place for too long.
“I really struggled trying to decide what it was that I wanted to become, not necessarily in terms of a job or academically, but in terms of what kind of person I thought I wanted to be,” Knight said. “And I’m still struggling because there is no one answer."
As founder of the Honors College Pathmaker Program, Knight devoted much of her time to the Honors College and the Honors Student Association (HSA), where she served as president for a year and a half. She also received an outstanding honors freshman award and presented at both the 2018 Western Regional Honors Conference and the 2019 National CollegiateHonors Conference.
Knight reflected on the car rides spent with friends in the HSA and said those were some of the most memorable experiences in her time at school.
“When I think about Victoria, I just think about the way that she greets absolutely everyone ... like she’s never been happier in her life to see them,” close friend Emerald Goranson said.
Friends weren’t the only ones helping Knight get through school, as she also lauded her advisors at the liberal arts college, specifically Nancy Diodati-Miller.
“I went into her office crying a whole bunch of times, and every time, she would sit down and talk with me and I would just feel so much better after I would talk to her,” Knight said. “I would feel like the world wasn’t ending, which is dramatic, I know, but that’s a part of my personality.”
In addition, Knight served as the ASUNM speaker of joint council for two years and the cultural director for student special events for one year. She received a distinguishable services award last year through ASUNM.
Knight’s partner Addie Smith said Knight does “little acts of service” for others and “sometimes it’s things I didn’t even know I needed or wanted.”
Knight attributes her close friendships to UNM and said those close bonds probably won’t change due to the virtual life that everyone has grown accustomed to during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“All of the friends that I have right now, that I made while I was going to UNM, I made because of UNM,” Knight said, elaborating that classes and clubs helped her find lifelong friendships.
Knight met one of her best friends, Aida Revilla, during her time with the UNM women’s rugby team.
“(Victoria is) super outgoing, super friendly ... just willing to put herself out there,” Revilla said. “I think that was a quality that I really admired in her.”
Balancing classes and activities was one of Knight’s biggest struggles in school, and she said buying a planner was the best decision she ever made, especially since she had never used one before college.
“(Balancing everything) was so difficult, and I did really struggle with it, and I definitely did drop the ball almost entirely with honors things,” Knight said.
Knight’s friends, however, dismissed such modesty. Goranson reiterated Knight’s dedication to others, and Revilla talked about how much Knight puts of herself into others, giving even when nobody else is giving back. Smith said Knight “makes everyone feel really important and listened to” when she talks to them.
“She’s done so many things and has helped so many people, and I don’t think that she gives herself enough credit for that,” Smith said. “I don’t think she realizes how many people she’s affected in such a positive way.”
Megan Gleason is the culture editor at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @fabflutist2716