Photo: First-year Norwich student Whitney Byassee wears a souvenir sweatshirt from Italy

A military brat from Fort Drum, N.Y. and a first-year criminal justice major at Norwich, Byassee plans on minoring in chemistry and French and hopes to become a crime scene investigator after graduation.

Is there story with your sweatshirt?
I got it when I was in Italy at the end of April, beginning of May. It was a Make-A-Wish trip for me. I had cancer, but that’s all over now.

That’s great to hear. Where did you go on your trip?
We started out in Sorrento. It’s 30 minutes from Pompeii, which is one of the places I wanted to go. Then we went to Rome, Florence, and then Venice. I’m a huge history buff. Especially ancient history. The ruins were just crazy. It was a lot of fun. My sisters are huge art buffs, so that’s why we stopped in Florence and Venice.

Do you always wear glasses?
Yes, because I am so blind. I cannot see (two feet) in front me without them. I tried contacts a while ago but I just didn’t really like them that much. I think glasses suit me a little better.

Tell us about your style.
This is just a day I’m like, “I don’t need to dress up for anything fancy.” Just grab something and go out. A hoody because, obviously, it was cold outside. The shoes are the shoes I wear when I don’t have to go to work. I didn’t have to do anything that day.

What do you do for work.
I work at Dollar General. I’m a key holder. So I’m the lead shift for the night.

So you’re working your way through school?

Super. How’s your first year at Norwich been so far?
I really like it. It’s definitely not what I’m used to. (I have four sisters and a brother, all of them younger.) I’m used to a big house full of people. Now I’m in a dorm with one other person. Whenever she’s gone, it’s just so quiet. I try to stay busy, so I don’t get too homesick.

Interview condensed and edited for length and clarity.

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