Keeleigh Thayn

University of Nebraska - Lincoln Big 10 CONFERENCE

ABOUT Keeleigh

  • @wild_thayn

University of Nebraska – Lincoln, Freshman

I love my college because….

I bleed Husker Red and I couldn’t be happier to say I attend the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. UNL provides that big campus feeling but with a family-like student body. With a diversity of students from every walk of life, each student takes away a sort of learning that can’t be taught in a classroom. From sporting events to graduations, you feel as if you are with your family even when surrounded by complete strangers.

I major in…

well, I have a bit of a backstory first. I grew up like any little girl: I danced, I did gymnastics, I ran from yard to yard each night. To the mind, I seemed normal, but the eyes saw something very different. When I danced my head shone in the spotlight, creating a sparkle. When I did gymnastics, my body ended with bruises covering it like a field of flowers. When I ran through the yard my face was covered by a mask isolating me from a “normal” childhood. The lifestyle I lived was composed of doctors visits hours away and pricks and pokes to help us figure out what was wrong. It was the beginning of a life very different from that of my peers, one ran completely by childhood cancer.
The world in which I was living was no longer taken for granted. While some children shared licks of the same lollipop, I saw only the germs passed from one mouth to another. As I grew older I was no longer one for risky situations as I knew how close being in a risky situation, wanted or not, could take you to a place where you were teetering on the edge of life and death.
Thanks to my story, I feel as if my time has come to give back. After graduating from the University of Nebraska with a Biochemistry degree I hope to continue on to medical school. From there I hope to specialize in Oncology so I can be a doctor that has been in the same place as my patients. I believe a true leader is one who has experienced their field of work from all levels. I don’t mean to quote Drake but this is truly a story of “started from the bottom now we here.”

My hometown is awesome because…

oh boy, oh boy, the love my heart holds for Lincoln, Nebraska is as close to indescribable as you can get (but I’ll try my best)! There’s something about the way the highway goes from a downtown metropolitan city to the countryside in less than five minutes. The way our Haymarket Park baseball field oversees a blanket of golden wheat at the beginning of the summer. It has a hometown feel, you’re always running into people you know, but with a modern edge. I love the way everyone stops in the grocery store on Husker game day when they hear the team has scored. I’ve had the opportunity to live in a few places around the world and the city I used to describe as bare and boring has become so much more than my misconceptions.


At school you can find me…

on the adventure of a lifetime studying abroad in Istanbul, Turkey. At least, that’s where I am now. I’ve always been a slight bit of a daredevil so nothing seems more fun than throwing myself into a city where I know no one and speak so little of the languages. I’ve learned things that can’t be taught within the walls of a classroom and met people that have experienced things us Americans only think exist in movies. After I return to Nebraska I plan on rushing this fall as well as playing a key role in the Honors Program I was selected for.

My ideal first date would be

to go fishing. Funny thing is, the last time I went fishing I was 4 years old. I love this idea because it’s something new to me and I don’t think there is a better way to get to know someone than to see them in a time when they’re out of their element. I’m always up for adventures and also meeting new people in the most unethical ways. I think a fishing date would allow for some chat time to get to know each other while waiting for a bite but would also bring some fun when my muscle-less arms are trying to reel in my big catch. I guess I can only hope the guy will be as much of a catch!

My favorite late night study snack is definitely…

a PB&J… with a twist. Although a PB&J sounds quite adolescent, add some apples to it and close your eyes, you’ll feel as if you’re in a five-star restaurant.

If I had 24 hours left to live, I would…

I know I won’t have time to check off my whole bucket list (it’s a long one), therefore: priorities! The moment my 24-hour clock started ticking I would be on my way to visit Sri Lanka. Yes, you heard it right, I would waste 20 hours on a flight munching on airplane peanuts just to bask in the beauty of the Temple of the Tooth.

If I could change one thing about the world, it would be…

I think in the world we live it’s impossible to choose just one thing to change. I hate to go all “Miss America” on ya, but we need some world peace! Throughout my adventures in Turkey, including a week long stay just miles from the Syrian border, I realized that although beauty queens and movie stars preach about heading towards peace, most of the world is naive as to what people living in a war zone are experiencing.

If I could give my younger self one piece of advice, I would say…

“relax, you can do this.” The phrase may seem simple, but it’s the truth; I am an overthinker.I know that my future is bright and my hard work ethic will pay off, it’s just a matter of stepping back and letting faith run its course.

I’m going to be Miss COED 2017 because…

going into college and with the little bit of life experience I have, I live by one quote, “I only have numbered days here on earth and I plan to use every single one of them to leave an impact.” For me, so far these impacts have been small, smiling at strangers to make sure no matter what they’ve smiled at least once that day or trying to show my friends and family at home how much social media has changed the reality of what is going on in the Middle East. Being Miss COED 2017 would allow me the opportunity to be a voice to a much bigger crowd. I want to spread awareness of things worldwide and also campus wide. I know that many college kids feel they don’t have a voice, and I am willing to be that voice for them.

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