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Well, three years have come and gone faster than I could have imagined at the wonderful UMKC. It’s crazy how time slips away when we are so caught up in our lives. If you told me three years ago what I would be doing now, I would be stunned. But that’s a good thing. Life is full of surprises and UMKC provided me with many pleasant ones. I am so grateful to have attended school here for many reasons, but to spare you from reading for forever, I’ll just provide you with a few. 

The Psychology and Criminal Justice Departments

Before I decided to come to UMKC, I actually wanted to go to Kansas State University. I was supposed to be a Park Management and Conservation major and become a park ranger. However, I knew it wasn’t for me. I decided to attend here and become a Psychology major with a Criminal Justice minor instead. I’ve always been extremely passionate and interested in these subjects, but I was scared that I would regret my choices. Happily, I can say that I have loved every minute of my courses. They’ve provided me with so much knowledge, not only in an academic context but involving the world around us. Because of my lovely professors and courses, I’ve learned about cognition, gender, psychological disorders, children, trauma and even serial killers. I also appreciate the professors of my elective courses in disciplines like education and speech. My professors have been extremely helpful in any questions and projects I have. The classes weren’t easy at all, but they have challenged my perspectives and have helped me become a critical thinker. I am glad that I decided to take the courses I did with the best professors in the game. 

Her Campus

Wow, it’s going to be hard to leave Her Campus. Her Campus at UMKC has really been such a light in my life. In my first year of undergrad, I had no friends at the university and no real ideas of organizations because I didn’t live on campus. Life was pretty lonely and sad. Some time during the summer of 2019, I found out about HC and that I could apply to be a writer for our campus’s chapter. Going out on a limb, I decided to apply and I got in! I was extremely nervous to join and wondered if anyone was going to like me or my articles. HC immediately felt like home. The girls were so kind to me and welcomed me with open arms. I made new friends fast and had lots of fun at our events and meetings. It was nice finding people on campus who were like-minded and wanted to empower one another. HC also helped me grow as a writer. I’ve never been a bad writer, but since joining, I have been more intentional in what I say and writing about topics that interest me. I quickly got over my writer’s anxiety and I found out people loved my articles. It felt good to be recognized for something that made me happy. Thanks to HC and the lovely people, I have grown as a writer and a person.

Propel

Now, Propel... Propel is something special. Propel is an organization on campus that provides college students with disabilities accommodations, tutoring, mentoring and events. I applied to be a mentor in 2019, hoping to become one in the fall of that year. My interview was a bit rough, but I got the job! Shoutout to my supervisors who gave me a chance. I was assigned to two students to mentor so they can be guided in the academic and social realms of college. Throughout the weeks of tutoring and mentoring, I learned that this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. The instant connection I felt with these students was unmatched and I knew I had to pursue a career in this domain. I also got promoted to be the lead mentor and have been for three semesters now. It hasn’t been easy, but it is incredibly rewarding. Every day I go into work knowing that I am impacting my students in a small way and they are impacting mine in a big way. This job has given me so much insight into disability advocacy and has taught me many lessons about life. Without Propel, I would not be who I am today. This job changed the trajectory of my life. Because of this job, I’m pursuing my Master’s in Special Education Teacher Certification and I couldn’t be happier. 

Leaving UMKC and all of its wonderfulness is definitely bittersweet. I’ve gained so much knowledge and happiness from being here. There were so many surprises. I will be forever grateful for the Psychology and Criminology departments, HC and Propel and all the opportunities they have given me. However, it is time to move on to the next chapter. Thank you, UMKC. I will never forget the time or experiences I have had here. 

Maddie Houx is a senior at the University of Missouri-Kansas City majoring in psychology and minoring in criminal justice. She is a second-year Her Campus member and is also a mentor on campus for students with disabilities. She is passionate about food, advocacy, and her favorite sports teams.
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