Life in the First Year Lane is a series documenting the experiences of first year students in Madonna Hall as they begin their college journeys with Anna Maria College. From living away from home for the first time to joining clubs and sports teams and beginning their academic pursuits, the Class of 2027 has so many exciting milestones to look forward to! 

Erin Gallagher 

Major: Nursing  

Hometown: Boylston, MA 

Erin Gallagher ‘27 comes from a family of nurses and knew she wanted to follow in their footsteps but was looking for a college that matched her career goals and personality. 

Erin’s inspiration for joining Anna Maria College came while she was playing field hockey. After seeing her talent as an athlete, an Anna Maria College coach invited her on a tour of the College. Erin connected with the close-knit community feel on the campus and was impressed by the way nursing students on the tour spoke about the Nursing Program and how she would be able to balance academics and athletics.  

“One of the nursing students was on the field hockey team too and she explained how Anna Maria’s nursing program was more hands-on and real-life based compared to other nursing programs in the area,” Erin explained, “Plus the campus was close enough to my family in Boylston where I could visit them, but active enough where I could discover my own sense of independence.”    

Ultimately, Erin wants to be a travel nurse in the future. After the pandemic, the medical industry has faced a huge personnel shortage. As a result, Erin purposely picked a profession where she can help people every day while realizing there are ample job opportunities available for her once she graduates. Erin is looking forward to putting her theoretical training into action and making an impact on the lives of others.  

“I enjoy the smaller classes at Anna Maria College, I feel like you really get to know the teachers here,” Erin said about her classroom experiences, “Feeling supported in class means I can ask more personalized questions. The teachers also have the opportunity to build a connection with you and help you more on an individual basis.” 

Being a first-year student is always a difficult transition after high school, but being a first-year student athlete in the academically rigorous nursing program is a challenge all on its own. Erin stresses the importance of time management and always prioritizes her studies. Whether studying on the bus on the way to a field hockey game or studying in the Information Commons with her fellow nursing students, Erin is dedicated to the nursing program.  

Whether it is with her new field hockey teammates, her nursing friends, or new people she meets at on campus events, Erin, who is usually a shy person, is finding ways to branch out and experience new things all while reaching her ultimate goal of becoming a nurse.  

“I’ve always wanted to help people, that has always been one of my biggest passions in life,” Erin said about her nursing future, “Knowing that I can make someone feel better means the world to me and it also makes me feel like I am adding positive and good karma to the world.”