A couple of weeks before I returned to campus for the fall semester, I was in the Midwest for the first time in my life. My younger sister was getting ready to begin her first year at Washington University in St. Louis, and I tagged along to assist with the oh so fun move-in process (a trip to a new city with great food wasn’t a bad incentive…) Amidst the shopping, unpacking, and exploring, I couldn’t help but feel a pang of nostalgia. I thought back to my own freshman move-in and relived the unfaltering excitement of being in a brand new place with so many new friendships, experiences, and lessons to come. I then thought of all the hard work my sister and I had endured to get to the universities we now love to call home. Without the slightest of doubts, I knew that either of us would be willing to work twice as hard if we had to do it again.
Life being its unpredictable self, I also received quite the unexpected email while sitting at the St. Louis airport. The BU Admissions office had reached out to me to see if I was interested in interviewing to be a student representative. If selected, I would get to share my Terrier story in four Florida cities. About a month later, I sat in yet another airport, waiting to fly to my hometown of Fort Lauderdale. My “rockstar tour,” as my friends have endearingly come to call it, would begin in Miami that Sunday morning.
From there, I would travel to Boca Raton, Orlando, and Tampa with a team of Assistant Directors of Undergraduate Admissions. At each location, we hosted a one-hour reception for high school students interested in applying to or just learning more about BU. My role was to be the undergraduate voice, which more specifically entailed a ten-minute speech on my academic and extracurricular achievements thus far. Ever the optimist, I couldn’t help but also throw in a conclusion with the basic underlying message of “follow your dreams, kids!”
Getting on stage was somewhat nerve-wrecking each time, but it was ultimately so worth it to be able to answer questions and offer advice to the students and parents who approached me afterwards. I actually think my three days “on the road” are among the most rewarding I’ve ever had because of those post-reception conversations. I definitely didn’t expect that teaching others about what BU has to offer would result in learning some new insights about myself, but it absolutely did. Here are a few of my biggest takeaways:
1. BU has exposed me to some cool stuff. – When I first sat down to write my reception speech, I thought it was going to be insanely difficult. I worried that I wouldn’t know what to talk about for a whole 10 minutes, but I quickly came to realize that 10 minutes wasn’t enough time at all. The greater concern was what I wouldn’t get the chance to talk about. Summarizing two years at a university like BU, let alone in a city like Boston, is pretty challenging, especially if your mantra has been to seize every opportunity available. I somehow narrowed down my list of highlights, which ranged from being able to create a thirty minute podcast for my WR150 final project to holding a leadership position in an organization as an underclassman and (rather randomly) taking Tai Chi as my first PDP.
2. I’ve (thankfully) come a long way since senior year of high school. – As I interacted with reception attendees each night, I thought back to when I was in their exact same position three years/a lifetime ago. When I was seventeen, I knew that I wanted to live in a city and study something communication-related. That was about it. It took a lot of self-reflection and forcing myself out of my comfort zone to get to the assurance I feel today. Do I still encounter self-doubt? Absolutely. But being at BU, constantly surrounded my incredibly driven and passionate people, has propelled me to maintain a standard of confidence in myself that I definitely lacked in the past.
3. I’m too proud to be BU. – Knowing that I’m a COM Ambassador is already a pretty big indicator that I enjoy gushing over this school. Getting to share my Terrier love beyond this campus was a whole other experience, though. I was given the chance to really think about all BU’s done for me and now I’m a bit obsessed with ensuring it can do as much for future students. So just a fair warning for all: I’m prone to overly spirited rants these days.