Reinvent Yourself

Did you see that?  If you blinked you may have missed the past 5 weeks shooting past us at the speed of light!  But you know what they say – time flies when it’s the second semester of your senior year and you’ve decided to do EVERYTHING that you’ve always wanted to do at TU, but always made a lame excuse for in the past!  Yes, folks, it’s true!  These are my last few months at this fine university (*cue ‘awwws’ here*).  But don’t despair!  I have come such a long way and you better be sure I’m going to go out with a bang (*cue cymbals*)!

How to describe senior year?  Exciting, terrifying, thrilling, nerve-wracking, surprising, exhausting, invigorating, exhausting, melancholic.  It’s basically like feeling all the feelings you’ve ever felt, all at once, along with some new ones that you never felt before. If you’re a senior in high school, you probably catch my drift! I’m at a fork in the road after a long journey, and I’m about to start an adventure that leads to a destination that doesn’t even exist yet!

2015-01-19 10.51.20 (2)As much as I have to look forward to in the months and years ahead, I can hardly believe how far I’ve come since I first arrived at TU.  I remember it well (even though, sometimes, I wish I didn’t). I was your typical, nerdy freshman: nieve, wide-eyed, and oh yeah, my personal favorite – I wore my student ID and dorm keys on a lanyard that I got at orientation (#freshmanstatus).  All I knew was that I wanted to go to medical school and that college was where I would be provided with the resources and opportunities I needed in order to learn how to refine myself in order to become the ideal applicant. (Disclaimer: I have been endowed with the some of the most amazing, life-changing experiences here at TU!  How is this a disclaimer you might ask?  Keep reading and I’ll tell you. :) )  However, I have learned things that I could never have predicted, and they have changed my world views drastically and for the better.

College not only introduced me to people and ideas different from my own, but TU provided the perfect slow-cooker environment for all these factors to mix, simmer, and coalesce in my mind, which have transformed me into the person I am today.  So, backtrack to freshman year again.  Basically, I learned that college was so much more than academics.  College is all about re-inventing yourself, and I tell ya, my freshman year self would be extremely proud (and kind of intimidated!) of the person that I have become!

I have gone from being an awkward, insecure, geeky freshman to an empowered, confident, assertive senior (and it only took 4 years!).  A few years ago, I would never have described myself using those adjectives and now I can’t stop!  I can keep going – strong, powerful, intelligent, self-assured, electrifying, intense… Beyonce (who doesn’t want to be Queen Bey?).  She’s my female empowerment role model.  Her and Sheryl Sandberg, COO at Facebook and author of Lean In.  I highly recommend it, especially for high-powered women.  It makes a great graduation present!.

SAMSUNGHow did I accomplish this you might ask?  Well, let me tell you!  I found my passion in life: social justice.  I’m talking everything from the environment to human rights.  I love all of it! It started with me listening to lectures here at TU and watching documentaries at Circle Cinema (an awesome independent theater in Tulsa!).  Now, it’s evolved from just being aware to taking action.To borrow from Gandhi, I have “become the change I’ve wanted to see in the world!”  I help bridge the gap between international students and domestic students and promote an inclusive student body as an Associate Director of Multicultural Affairs

To borrow from Gandhi, I have “become the change I’ve wanted to see in the world!”

FB_IMG_1423811458861I help bridge the gap between international students and domestic students and promote an inclusive student body as an Associate Director of Multicultural Affairs on Student Association (our student government!).  Right now, we’re planning an International Food Festival (I can’t wait to try all the yummy dishes!) and a Soccer World Cup (I’m working on getting vuvuzellas!  Remember those from the World Cup a few years ago? Haha!).

As an officer of SAVE (Student Alliance for Violence Education), I work to educate TU’s campus on issues regarding sexual violence.  We’re having an awareness event in the Allen Chapman Student Union tomorrow to educate students on the topic of emotional abuse (we’re giving away 200+ chocolate bars!).  As Treasurer of LINC (Leaders Incorporated), a mentoring program for incoming freshman, I help to acquire funding and sponsorships for all of our events.  For example, since it’s Black History Month, we’re hosting discussion groups about race and showing documentaries (we’ve been discussing Ferguson and colorism, and we’re also going to be watching Selma!).

TU has provided a streamlined progression from education, to awareness, to activism for me.  I like to call it the ‘Goldilocks effect’ – TU doesn’t overwhelm, instead it has allowed me to cultivate my thoughts and provided me a supportive environment in which to express them – it’s “just right!”  I sincerely hope you take the time to consider if TU can be “just right” for you!  I think everyone deserves to become who they were always meant to be and TU is the perfect storm (because we’re the Golden Hurricane! Woot Woot!)!

Peace out!

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