Meet Ceyda Bridger.
Year and major: Sophomore/Biology
Branch/Rank: U.S. Marine Corps/E-4
Service: 3½ years, previously stationed at Camp Pendleton, Calif.
Tell us about your service experience. I started off in my first duty station with a terrible leader who ruined many people’s lives. I ended up serving the rest of my time under my first sergeant and gained many billets (job titles), and six months after I was honorably discharged from the Marines, I received a letter of appreciation and a Navy Achievement Medal for my accomplishments during service. I cried when I received the medal in the mail because I thought no one cared about the things I did outside of my job title. I still have trouble adjusting from the things I experienced. I loved serving in the Marine Corps and miss it a lot.
What are some of your memorable experiences in college? I am excited about the “Show Your Colors 5K Run” to honor veterans. My husband and I have both signed up and cannot wait!
Any favorite classes? I have enjoyed all of my biology classes the most. I am also currently taking Piano 1 and I love it. I wish I could take more music classes without it being a major or minor because I love music, but I do not have the time to take classes for both music and biology.
Tell us about JU’s role in your transition to civilian life. I really like how the professors I have are very laid-back and the classes are small. I feel like it allows for a closeness that I missed from being in the Marines. I get to know everyone on a more personal level. I also like the free concerts because I was used to getting things like that in the Marines, and it makes me feel like I haven’t lost all the benefits. I also enjoy how quiet and natural JU is. I find it very relaxing. Low noise, low stress.
What sets JU apart? I like how eco-friendly JU is and the overall vibe the campus gives. JU is a place where you can enjoy the natural surroundings and the peace in nature. You also get a lot of fun experiences. I love the Study Abroad programs, Yellow Ribbon, free concerts, discounted races and all the other fun side events.
What might surprise others about you? I look younger than my age. I am 23 with a 2-year-old daughter (almost 3), and I’m married to my husband (29 years old) who was also a Marine and is also a JU student (Robert Bridger). We are very family-oriented and spend much time together as a family. We go on hikes, camping trips and picnics. We never go to clubs or bars or parties.
Meet the other students we’re recognizing during the Month of Heroes, learn more about our military students and alumni here on Wave Magazine, or visit the Veterans and Military Resource Center online to learn how JU serves those who’ve served.