Name: Crissy Murphy
Hometown: San Antonio, Texas
BS: Why did you choose politics as your major?
CM: I came in declared, and I actually thought I was going to do physical therapy, so I planned to take all the [prerequisites] for that. Then General Chemistry and I had to part ways at a certain point in the semester, and that was a closed door, so I stuck with politics. A lot of people always ask if I want to be a congresswoman or a politician, but no. I didn’t want all my classes to be “how does the GOP work?” and I knew that at [the University of Dallas], the classes are more political philosophy classes, which go a lot deeper than modern politics. It’s more enriching, I think, than being a politics major anywhere else. I thought about being a philosophy major and I also thought about being a history major, and I think politics draws perfectly from both and perfectly encompasses both areas. It’s a really well-rounded major. Some classes … are more focused on modern politics. But some of the ones in the Core are [on] Plato’s “Republic” and Aristotle’s “Politics,” so you learn first what democracy was at its origins, and you can take what you’ve learned from that and think about it in terms of where it stands today.
BS: Once you graduate, what will you miss most about UD?
CM: Obviously [I will miss] all the people [and] all the comfort. People complain that it’s a Bubble, but I like the Bubble. It’s familiar and it’s more simple. It doesn’t feel like there are too many outside pressures that are unimportant. People don’t sit around and talk about celebrity gossip all the time. People aren’t distinguished by which sorority or fraternity they belong to. It’s nice being in a place where, even though people have different ideas and opinions about things and everyone is their own person, there’s a common thread that runs through here. It’s hard to explain because not everyone has the exact same values or the same opinions or beliefs, but there definitely is a common thread.
BS: What are your interests in terms of your career after UD?
CM: My dad is an attorney, and he’s also a huge history buff. Subconsciously, growing up, I thought he was such a nerd. But, as you do grow up, you realize the impression your parents made on you and all of the ways they influenced you. My dad definitely influenced how I think and how I see the world. You can be involved and engaged in the world and in politics without being a snake. There’s still good in wanting to serve the public. He deals pretty much exclusively with water, projects for drinking water and water conservation. I definitely have found myself following in his footsteps. I worked in D.C. last summer and that was really awesome and I learned a lot. I worked for the National Water Resources Association, which is a lobbying firm for water conservation and other water-related issues on the Hill, and the experience reassured me that I do want to work in water, whether it’s [through] lobbying or legislation. But I wanted to take that home with me and work in Texas on a state level, as opposed to a federal level, because it feels more relevant. This summer, I worked in Fort Worth doing a similar thing, but at a local level. Where I worked, we would sell raw water to various cities. As I would drive over the Trinity River, I’d think, “This is the source for thousands of people’s drinking water.” Even though I’m not solely responsible for giving people drinking water, my part in that felt important and worthwhile. Everyone needs water.
BS: Any advice for freshmen?
CM: Balance your time. That’s so cliché. But don’t go out just because there’s something going on. Take care of yourself! Go out as much as you can without it terribly affecting your schoolwork and your health. But if you’re trying to go to Rome, put your best foot forward. Don’t stress too much. Everyone [is] in the same boat: You don’t know what you’re doing or what you want to do. Don’t isolate yourself in a clique just because they’re the first people you meet. Study as hard as you can without killing yourself. Freshman year is a trial run; it’s your practice year. Everyone looks back on [their] freshman year and kind of laughs at themselves, so don’t sweat it. It is what it is. Try to stay steady.