Senior Marley Ballinger is a great example of BSM’s best. She is a kind, welcoming woman who prides herself on inclusivity. This, combined with her talent in Red Knotes, mark her time at BSM. Ballinger is truly tremendous.
Ballinger’s time at BSM has allowed her to try new things as well as get involved in more opportunities for activities she already loved. Specifically, BSM gave Ballinger a space to expand her love for music and singing. “Something that I’ve loved is being able to do more with singing. I was kind of nervous to do stuff with it before I came to BSM. Throughout high school, I got less and less nervous to do things that I like doing instead of doing what I thought I should do. So that’s been one of my favorite experiences,” Ballinger said.
While BSM didn’t introduce her to singing, it made her passion grow. “I’ve always loved singing, but I think it was choir sophomore year where I was like ‘Okay, I’m just gonna try out for a capella.’ … Ever since I’ve been in [Red Knotes,] I’ve loved it even more,” Ballinger said.
Red Knotes has introduced Ballinger to many new people who use their own skills to make music. Because of her experience as a Red Knote, Ballinger hopes to do something similar in college too. “They are the nicest people ever. It’s good because it’s a nice change. There’s a ton of different types of people in that group so it’s not like I’m just hanging out with the same people all the time… I’m learning new things from that as well. Everyone uses their own unique self to better the school,” Ballinger said.
Ballinger was also on the dance team, before deciding to manage. Her time as a Knightette taught her some valuable lessons that Ballinger will take with her in her future. “I learned a lot of good team skills and how to work as a teammate instead of doing things for myself. I also learned how to have good responsibility, to take accountability for my actions and know that your actions can affect others, not just you,” Ballinger said.
In addition to Red Knotes and dance team, Ballinger also likes to volunteer and hopes she can see all of these interests develop with more opportunities in college. “[I hope to get involved in] a capella, different volunteering and maybe a youth group… probably some intermural sports,” Ballinger said.
Ballinger will be attending the University of Iowa in the fall and she plans on majoring in business. “As of now, I’m considering in majoring in marketing, but that could change… I’ve never had any strong interests going into medical or nursing or anything… I just kind of decided on business. Also, I want to be with other people. I think marketing especially is a very social type of thing where you are working with others. That’s something I want to do so that swayed my decision,” Ballinger said.
As her time at BSM winds down, Ballinger is looking forward to her future, despite the uncertainties. “I’m super excited [for college]. I’m really nervous just because I don’t know what to expect. I’m the oldest so it’s kind of new, unknown territory. I have a roommate now so that makes it more exciting,” Ballinger said.