(Above is a collection of some of our favorite photos from this year!)
For weeks, I struggled with creating the proper form of gratitude and departure from my responsibilities within the CA team. For the past academic year, I oversaw the social platforms the team were involved with. Some initiatives were successful, others were failures, but all are lessons I treasure deeply. Through this experience, I discovered more about myself than expected, but that wasn’t the highlight of this time. It was discovering and learning the stories from students, staff, faculty, and community members. It was developing relationships that changed my life.
I usually joke with my students that becoming a Campus Ambassador was the best and worst decision of my life. It was the best, because it helped me with public speaking, networking, and walking backwards. It was the worst, because it catapulted me into the field of higher education – another unplanned passion that instantaneously took over my brain. As the tours and conversations accumulated, so did the fire within in; the fire to forge pipelines, create opportunities, and expand access for our youth aspiring to attend college. And as result, it led to uncomfortable discourse, necessary changes, and persistent work.
Rather than getting too personal and sentimental, I want to thank everyone who has helped our team grow and become greater people. They say it takes a village to raise a child and they are definitely right. For the CA team, it took the Office of Admissions, thirteen academic units, all the locations we stop at on tour, advisors, faculty, staff, students, families, and so much more. Thank you for your patience, adaptability, kindness, and undying #Roo pride. We wouldn’t be who we are without you all.
Lastly, I want to express my gratitude towards the perseverant and loving leaders I had the privilege to work with and watch grow. I don’t think I will ever be able to fully articulate the change and greatness you brought into my life. When I had bad days, you made them brighter. When I created silly hashtags (aka #YellowBrickRoadAssemble), you used them. When I had doubts, you helped me conquer them. When I couldn’t love myself, you wrapped me in affection (and the comfiest blankets ever!). Thank you for supporting me and always working so hard. I wouldn’t be who I am without you all.
So this concludes it; my time as a Campus Ambassador. As I mentioned earlier, I had great difficulty creating a proper thank you and goodbye until today, the first day of summer classes. Typical of any course, we did introductions and my professor included the open-ended question, “Where are you going?”. Truthfully, there are things I want to accomplish and places I want to see, but there is no concrete answer, so I was hesitant in sharing. I wasn’t even sure of my plans after class, but I knew one sure thing. Wherever I am going, I hope I am moving forward. Never backwards. Never remaining stagnant and complacent. As this chapter closes, I hope to write many more. As many times as I have written thank you, it still feels insufficient. So I hope one day, my actions can be sufficient in expressing my gratitude.
With love and relentless #Roo pride,
P.S. Now that our Campus Ambassadors are taking a break, check out our Orientation Leaders! When the academic year ends, we pass the Admissions baton to our OLs who oversee summer events and visits. Like them on Facebook. Follow them on Instagram. Tweet them on Twitter. See you all in the fall!