Ceili Doyle, Emma Kinghorn, The Miami Student

Erica Buschick was a vibrant source of light and laughter to her friends, family and the Miami community. She was the type of girl who could turn any negative situation around with a positive attitude and a friendly smile, and offer her friends a piece of advice when they needed it most. Erica, 18, was from Gurnee, Ill. and graduated from Warren Township High School last June.

A lot of her time at college was spent making others laugh and being silly around the friends she made in Morris Hall.

“I saw her in the bathroom brushing her teeth and that was almost the best  time, because she was just so goofy and so full of life,” said first-year Lauren Brennan. “She was always energetic even if it was at nine in the morning.”

There was never a dull moment with Erica, first-year Brooke Waid said.

First-year Piper Fries agreed, and remembered knocking on Erica’s door before sprinting down the hallway or ducking into a bathroom as part of their year-long ding dong ditch game.

She was constantly bubbling with energy, but when it mattered, Erica could be counted on to lend her ear to her friends’ problems and was a very understanding and charismatic person.

“Everyone loved her, I mean everyone,” said Piper, “She loved life, and the world.”

“I never had to hide the struggles of freshman year around Erica,” Lauren said. “She was always there to comfort me and offer great advice whenever I needed it.”

Above all else, Erica cherished her family. She was extremely close with her two older sisters, Loren and Danielle, as well as her mom and dad.

“One of my favorite memories is sitting on the porch with [Erica’s] family listening to music, going in the pool and her dad always cooked dinner almost every night,” said Julienne Egofske, a freshman at Bucknell University who was Erica’s best friend from home.

As a special education major, Erica hated when others used the “r-word” in a derogatory fashion. She was also very passionate about the Best Buddies program at Miami, which she was also heavily involved with in high school.

“She rubbed everyone the right way,” Julienne said. “One thing I will never forget about Erica was our [weekend] breakfasts. It was our thing and all of our girl friends loved doing that, every time I’m out to breakfast I will think of her.”

“She created her own path for herself,” said Piper, “[she taught me] to be more of myself.”