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Abigayle Polanek

Within each of our Bay Path community members is an inspirational story of perseverance and strength, and we are honored to share them. This narrative originally appeared as part of Bay Path's #MyPath on social media.

“I always felt called to Bay Path in a weird way. I was born in Illinois but moved to East Longmeadow when I was a toddler. I grew up here. And then I went to Asnuntuck Community College, and now I'm at Bay Path, back at Longmeadow.

“I first considered Bay Path when I was in high school. My mom is an alumna. She's a big inspiration for me because she was a stay-at-home mom for a long time. But she wanted to keep going and better herself. And that has pushed me to go after what I want.

"I was interested in Bay Path's neuroscience program. But I've always been creative. I felt that I'd be making a mistake if I didn't pursue that. So, I went to Asnuntuck. I chose a liberal arts program with a fine arts focus. I thought it would make me happy. But it just didn't do it for me. I'm really good at painting, but what am I going to do? Paint portraits of people? I started looking at places to transfer to, and I decided to try Bay Path's neural program.

“The transferring process was really easy. I did one year of neurobiology, and I loved it. But I couldn't see myself pursuing it in the long run. And not doing anything creative was honestly killing me.

“I didn't want to leave Bay Path, so I switched from neuro to business which has an interior design program that allows me to exercise my creativity. Once I started the business program, I realized how good I am at it. I never saw myself as a businessperson, like a person who sits in their little cubicle and does business work. But there's way more to it than that!

“And my professors can tell how much more passionate I am, and they push me even more. I don't know if I would have done these things at a bigger institution. At Bay Path, your work is recognized, and you are a part of many things.

“After I finish college, I might look into a doctoral program or a master's program. And I would like to get into a local design firm. Aside from that, I want to have my own business someday. I believe that you don't have to be one thing or do one job. Everyone has so many different skills and abilities. There's no reason to limit yourself.” - Abigayle Polanek #MyPath

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