Senior Kimberly Brooking smiles for a photo taken by Elise Brady, her best friend and roommate, at her favorite coffee shop in Carson City, Nev., in March 2020. Brooking decided to visit Brady’s hometown in March 2020, when Pepperdine closed due to COVID-19.
Photos courtesy of Kimberly Brooking
Senior Kimberly Brooking prepares to graduate with a degree in International Studies with an economic studies specialization and a minor in Hispanic Studies. Brooking chose to attend Pepperdine because of the opportunity to study abroad in Italy, a place where she made her greatest memories at Pepperdine. Brooking now holds many leadership positions as the President of Model United Nations, Vice President of the Regent Students Scholar’s Board and Head Editor of Global Tides. She plans to continue her academic journey by attending law school, which is yet to be determined, upon her graduation this fall.
Why did you choose to go to Pepperdine?
Kimberly Brooking: Frankly, I chose to go to Pepperdine because I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I had applied to a number of schools, but I was most excited when I unexpectedly got my Pepperdine acceptance letter. I have never had a type of passion for a place until I found out about Pepperdine. I was initially drawn to Pepperdine from their study abroad programs and that it was a Christian institution, as I attended other Christian institutions while growing up. I had a fantastic teacher in high school who said that it was our life homework to do what we needed to better understand the world, and that’s how I knew I wanted to go to the school with the best study abroad program.
How has your Pepperdine experience been for you?
KB: Fantastic. Going into college, I’ve heard clichés about making life-long friends. Now, there are countless people that I hope to know for the rest of my life. The real problem with Pepperdine is that there are just too many good people that I wish I had more time to spend with them. I went into college with the mindset to grow spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. Now, I have no doubt that I have accomplished all of the things that make me a well-rounded student — I am most grateful for that. The experiences were both challenging and comforting and I would honestly choose it all over again.
What is your greatest takeaway from your experience overseas?
KB: The person I went to Italy as is now a different person who came back home. While I was abroad, there was that spiritual disconnection because you don’t have the foundations that you grew up on, which allows you to discover growth. Being able to truly be there and look around allowed me to understand the depth of diversity. Coming back, I missed it severely because I had found my place there and connected with so many people where I fell in love with everything. It’s a crazy situation of having 55 people in one big house and I loved getting to know every one of them all so sincerely because it was a really unique opportunity. Where else would you be able to get to know people that well and the differences of living life? It would be impossible to not be changed by the way how you see people living different lives than you.
What are your favorite memories at Pepperdine?
KB: My best memory was when I was traveling to Aosta, Italy, with my girls to see the Matterhorn. It was probably the most chaotic and ridiculous trip ever. We had so many problems— our car got stuck in the snow, we made our train in two minutes, we had to figure out the gas and local language as well as how to rent a car. But, it was a time of spiritual reflection with these wonderful girls that encaptured the feeling of “I’m so happy I am alive right here.” We read the Word and discussed things that got really deep about our lives which made it a really profound spiritual experience. This gave me some of the best friendships that I never could have imagined that I would ever have. We all credited that experience for allowing us to have more time to really become close and cement those friendships as a foundation for our future.
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