Rhys Cairns is Grateful for the Kansas City Experience
Why did you choose UMKC?
Scholarships, classes in finance and I heard the business school was good.
What excites you?
All the possibilities. I’ve got a lot left to do. Possibilities are exciting but they’re also a little scary because I don’t know what will happen next.
I also enjoy the weather here. I never saw the sun back home (in Newcastle, England).
What was it like when you first came to UMKC?
I wondered if people could understand me because my accent is so thick. And I missed my mom. I wasn’t worried about soccer, but I wondered how I would make friends — a lot of that was easier because I was on a team.
Since entering college, what have you learned about yourself?
I have learned that the things which I really wanted when I was younger really aren’t that important anymore. I have learned that being happy and helping others around me laugh and smile is one of the best things I can do. I have learned that I can handle difficult situations and that I do have the resolve to get through them and continue to move forward.
What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received from a professor?
I suppose from a personal perspective the best advice I have heard is just to be yourself because no one is better at it than you are. So many people try to be something they’re not, and miss out on so much because of it. That in itself has helped me a lot.
Who do you admire most at UMKC?
I suppose the person I admire most is Anthony Rashid. He is the director of Soccer Operations for the team. When I first met Anthony I thought he was a really good guy and was more a member of the team than anything. After a while, I found out Anthony not only goes to school and works for the soccer team but he also works for the basketball team, works at Swinney and also works at Wal-Mart on night shift. Anthony has a drive which you don’t see in many people, and it is something I really respect and admire about him. He knows exactly what he wants to do in life and he is willing to work his butt off to get there.
The thing I admire most about UMKC is the people. Everyone seems to want to help you in some way or another. I don’t think I have met a person yet who I didn’t like because everyone is so kind and helpful.
Are you a first-generation college student?
I am. I feel if I manage to do something with the degree then I will look at it more fondly. I feel that it means a lot to my parents, which is what pushes me to get the best marks I can.
What’s your greatest fear?
I suppose my greatest fear is not being able to give my future family the best lives possible. I think that scares me more than anything but that also drives me forward to do the best I can and never give up on my dreams.
What are your lifelong goals?
To be happy and able to provide for my family and not worry about things that aren’t important. I also love to tell bad jokes.
What motto do you live by?
Don’t settle. Life’s too short to settle. If you settle, you’ll never know how good things can get.
What is one word that best describes you?
There. If anyone needs something I can help with, I will be there to help them. If someone needs cheering up and I can do something stupid to make them laugh I’ll be there to do it. If someone just needs to talk about things and I can be there to listen I will.
What do you like about Kansas City?
I love that there’s always something to do. I love that there are so many people and I haven’t met anyone who isn’t nice. Wherever I go, people know me and are really nice. I’m very lucky to have the opportunity to come here. Not everyone back home has the chance to do this.