From Scared Student to Student Advisor: My Freshman Year Reflection

As a current tour guide for Boston University, many visitors are surprised to hear that I never actually took a tour of BU before I committed to the university.

I first learned about the university during April of my junior year. A good friend and role model of mine was accepted on the Trustees Scholarship and thereby committed. I remember taking a picture of the cookies at her graduation party that had the BU logo on them and posting the photo to my VSCO grid with the “praying hands” emoji.

In fact, Boston University wasn’t even one of the top 5 schools I had been hoping to attend. I chose the location of Boston because I remembered falling in love with the city when I first visited my sophomore year; additionally, BU was one of the best schools I got into.

The first time I stepped foot onto Commonwealth Ave. during summer orientation, I felt instantly at home. I felt the beat of the city percolate into my bones. The air smelled like opportunity (despite the humid June air), and I couldn’t wait to take the city by storm.

On August 31st, I looked at my reflection in the full-length mirror of my bedroom at home for the last time. Above the mirror was an arrow that said “Boston University: 2,658 miles”. Today was the day I departed for my new adventure. I remember playing Natasha Bedingfield’s “Unwritten” as the plane took off from the Boise airport and I watched as the trees in the mountains quickly changed from spots into large patches until I couldn’t see them anymore as I glided above the clouds.

I remember hugging my parents at the Logan airport on Labor Day and immediately bursting into tears. I saw my first Boston sunrise that morning as I boarded the Silver Line shuttle towards North Station to take the T back to my dorm–the place I would call home for the next nine months.

Coming from the girl who lived in the same house her entire life, moving across the country was a bold leap of faith. I saw myself going to school on a traditional campus my entire life. I had my skepticism about the city campus, but as soon as I saw the red placards on the buildings on my first T ride, I knew I had nothing to be afraid of.

Summer orientation brought me a plethora of new friends, from my orientation roommate who I met up with at the airport and navigated the T with, the group of 40 friends from the GroupMe chat that I ate breakfast at Pavement with, to the students I walked around the Boston with on our city excursion and the friends I made while eating on the steps of Quincy Market.

Each mentor I had during orientation inspired me to try something new during my time at BU. They welcomed me with open arms, were always there to answer questions, and inspired me with all of their stories.

Before the semester ends, I see the significant growth I have experienced over the course of my first year at BU.

A campus that once felt foreign to me now brings me a person I can wave at every five steps I take outside. A college I once was uncertain about now houses my favorite office where I spend afternoons working with some of the most incredible seniors who I don’t know how I’ll live without next year.

Before the semester ends, I’ve given tours to hundreds of prospective families, showing them the campus that made me fall in love.

I’ve shared my story with hundreds of admitted students at Open House weekends, and my space with a guest for Multicultural Community Weekend.

I’ve accepted a position as a Student Advisor for Orientation this summer where I’ll live in my first college apartment (!) and welcome the incoming class of students just as I was welcomed.

Like so many others, I came to college with an innate desire to recreate myself. I wanted to change the image that others saw when they met me. It wasn’t that I didn’t like who I was–I did–but more so that I wanted to be more of everything: smart, kind, well-known.

As the “Unwritten” lyrics go, “Today is where your book begins, the rest is still unwritten,” so did my college experience. My story on the pages isn’t that of perfect handwriting, each line pin-straight and parallel to the one prior. My story is written with coffee stains on the pages, whiteout over words, with more whiteout, and more scribbles. There are carrots for words I wanted to insert, notes in the margins for thoughts I couldn’t plug into comprehensible sentences, and mementos taped in.

The most common question I get asked on tour now, without fail each time: “Why did you choose BU?” In the College of Communication, we call ourselves storytellers. I was inspired by others’ stories to come to BU. I’ve gotten the opportunity to form my own story (still in the works!) here. I hope that in the coming years, I can inspire others to share and expand their stories here at Boston University.

Most of all, thank you to all of you readers here at Her Campus BU. I’ve been able to share so many of my thoughts openly this year through this platform, and I can’t wait to spend more time pouring my heart out to you in the coming semesters. HCXO

All Photos Credited to Geneve Lau

 

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