Choose WSU Days: How I Went from an Onlooker to an Ambassador

March 12, 2017, represents a momentous day in my life: the day I formally announced my decision to attend Winona State University in the fall. In conjunction with this milestone moment, I declared my major as Mass Communication: Journalism.

 

But before I came to this conclusion, I attended many, many, MANY welcoming events, programs, and interactive weekends to experience what my time as a Winona State Warrior could bring me. There were panels and discussions about everything from travelling abroad, greek life, student housing, campus tours, as well as time to get acclimated with professors, and maybe most importantly—current students! They were all so poised and ready to answer questions to their own experiences, and it felt like a community where I could not only find a home, but also the best version of myself.

 

So, imagine my surprise when three semesters after being at Winona State, I found myself in the position to be one of very those students I so highly revered during all my visits! Recommended by my professors and acknowledged by faculty, I am a Student Ambassador who participates in sizable panels on behalf of the College of Liberal Arts and more small-scale opportunities to interact one-on-one with prospective students who are interested in Mass Communication. This is a relatively new program: it aims to provide prospective students with resources and interactions with current faculty and students to make the decision I so happily made two years ago.

 

I figured for this week’s article, I would try to encapsulate my emotions from when I first got the news, the week leading up to my first panel and Ambassador event, and my feelings afterwards in the second-best mechanism (besides words): GIFs!

 

  • The face I made when I first got the email about this incredible opportunity:

 

  • The reaction I imagine my mom had when I called her:

 

  • My friends realizing there would be additional ears who could listen to all my Mass Comm-esque conversations:

 

  • But then, nerves set in about serving as a role model for potential new Warriors:

 

  • Settling myself down because I wouldn’t have been chosen unless they thought I could handle the responsibility that came with the opportunity:

 

  • Spending the week before my panel preparing what I would say (even though that definitely wasn’t required of me):

 

  • Waking up the morning of the panel, motivated and excited:

 

  • My inner monologue the day of (more specifically, the hour before) the panel:

 

  • Looking at the crowd of prospective students, trying not to look nervous:

 

  • When the first question was asked:

 

  • How I felt as I gradually remembered what it felt like to be sitting in those seats, which helped me draw from personal experience to answer questions insightfully:

 

  • Really getting a sense of “Hey, maybe I can be really good at this” after finishing the panel:

 

  • Realizing it was time for a more one-on-one setting later in the day:

 

  • Getting the chance to talk less formally about my experience with students who attended the Ambassador portion of the Choose WSU Day:

 

  • Spending time having good conversation with professors, even when students weren’t around to ask questions:

 

  • Ending the day and feeling like I made a genuine impact while having a lot of fun in the process:

 

Overall, my first week of serving on the student panel for the College of Liberal Arts and working as an Ambassador for my major was SO rewarding. I left both parts of the first Friday Choose WSU (February 15) feeling so giddy with all the good vibes I got from sharing my personal experience with like-minded people, students and professors alike. Connecting with prospective students to field their questions and showcase how my decision to be a Journalism major has affected my time at WSU thus far was incredible. And perhaps more shockingly, I had an even better time just getting to know the professors who also volunteered their time to welcome students into the Mass Communication department.

 

It’s crazy to think that a little under two years ago, I was just a student in the crowd, waiting for opportunities to explore. And now, I’m one of the students who gets to help usher students into this incredible place. I’m looking forward to the other events this semester so I can continue to spotlight all the awesomeness that can happen if and when they “Choose WSU.”