The use of a driving metaphor for the road of life/college/etc. may not win me any awards for creativity, but bear with me.  

When I arrived at the University of Washington, I thought I had a pretty clear idea of where I was headed.  I had been driven in school. I excelled academically and in my mind, admittance into a top-rate University was my right as a student who had exceeded standards all throughout her educational career.

Yes, I was driven.  But like many students, it took some trial, error and self-discovery to realize who was doing the driving.  Somewhere along the way, my mother had noticed that I liked to observe people.  She noticed I was a strong writer. So she suggested that I might one day make a great journalist. I came to the University of Washington with that intent: to be a journalism major, to graduate and to find employment writing for some well-reputed publication.  

So I set out on the road toward a Bachelor’s in Communication.  I navigated the map for college as best I could. I hit roadblocks and went and saw some tourist traps. The Communication major felt a lot like a tourist trap. There were so many students pursuing the same degree with little understanding or conviction in what it was all about, that it felt cheapened.  

When I got to Journalism, it felt like a neighborhood where I didn’t feel safe and I didn’t belong. I didn’t want to get out of my car. I wanted to drive on through.  

In the end, I got to my final destination faster than others (I completed the degree in Communication in just 3 years) and for less gas money (thank you in-state tuition).  

But now as I look back at my road-trip, I try to appreciate the influential elements of that journey, including experiences inside and outside of the classroom.

My work
as a Peer Adviser in the Undergraduate Academic Advising office at the University of Washington was a lot like “googlemaps” in that I provide the algorithm to help a student get from point A to point B. I was their GPS, suggesting where to turn and go next, while at the same time trying to make them look in their mirrors and out their windows simultaneously.  

I wanted the students I counseled to see that there is value in looking in the rear view to appreciate where they had been; to look to the left, right, blind-spot, fix on a point in the distance but not at the expense of not seeing what was great around then and what might cause an accident ahead of them.




Ultimately the road to my degree wasn’t about the destination (it never is) but more about the journey.  I was fortunate enough to have discovered my passion along the way- I like to work with students who have just been handed the keys on their own and just merged onto the "freeway of College." They are nervous, overwhelmed, are getting feedback and are feeling drawn to all sorts of avenues and I like to use my experience to help them find their way and explore their passions.

But where am I headed?

I am completing my Master's Degree in Higher Education Administration at The University of Texas at Austin while also serving as a graduate assistant in the New Student Services Office. I hope to one day work as an academic adviser and administrator for an undergraduate academic advising unit at a public university. I would also hope to transition into an administrative position in a liberal-arts based honors program at a large public research flagship.
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