Thursday, September 8, 2011

new student experience...2000

eleven years ago, when i was a wee freshman girl at the university of indianapolis (go greyhounds!), we were required to take sort of an orientation class based on our majors. i guess the point was to begin forming cohorts early or something.

but for those of us hapless undeclared students, we got stuck in a special section: new student experience. so there we were, a bunch of eighteen year-olds without any direction in our lives.

each of these classes was led by a faculty or staff member. and there was also a peer leader. the purpose of the class was generally to be a resource for students--"[presenting] academic and developmental meet the needs of students and help them develop skills and relationships that will serve them well as they pursue their degree and career goals." yup. i am nerdy enough that i went to the uindy website to look that up. no shame.

my staff member was christy stone, and my peer leader was tiffany rife.

now, i don't know if they did this with other students or if i was just a special project to them, but these two women dramatically shaped my future at u of i...and my life in general.

i felt lost and completely without purpose when i got to school. i didn't know what i wanted to do or who i wanted to be. christy and tiffany basically took me by the hand and 'encouraged' me to get involved on campus. they made me help out at events. they forced me to become an orientation assistant. they bullied me into applying for a position on the campus program board. they coaxed me into being a peer leader.

i was undeclared for a year and a half, and even after that, i ended up changing my major halfway through my junior year. but it didn't matter. i was hooked on my school. i bought into the community. i was passionate about involving others.

i stayed in school because people on campus were committed to me.


the things i am doing with my life right now have everything to do with members of a campus community investing in me. very few things bring me greater joy than connecting with students.

it's pretty sweet.

so...thanks, christy and tiffany. your lives are still impacting students today.

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