Okay, I’m going to be completely honest and open with you all. This weekend I experienced a bit of a, “I’m not cut out for this, I’m in over my head, who am I and what is the meaning of life?” crisis. It was a little melodramatic, but justified given the way this semester is wrapping up. I could share the list of deadlines, meetings, and commitments I have in the next 16 days, but that wouldn’t be fun for any of us. Bottom line: I’m a little over-committed this semester, and the pressures of finding a summer job and housing for the fall haven’t been helping.
At the peak of my unease, I did what any grown woman would do: I called my mommy. I rattled off all the things I was worried about completing as she gave me the age-old “everything is going to be okay” speech. It helped a little, and I committed to a full night’s sleep before another full week.
Then, a beautiful thing happened. Blue Devil Days began. For those of you that aren’t familiar with Blue Devil Days, it’s a series of retreats for prospective students (you’re all invited!) to check out the campus, hear from current Duke students, and learn about things like housing, academics, and DukeEngage.
As a member of the First-Year Advisory Council Executive Board and an Undergraduate Admissions Blogger, Blue Devil Days is a busy season for me. Through those organizations, I’m expected to participate in Q&A sessions, sit on panels, and lunch with prospective students. Going into it, I was a little overwhelmed and not really sure how to handle myself. I sat in on the housing information session, stepped on stage and introduced myself, and wrangled together a group of about 30 prospective students for a question and answer session. I invited them to take a seat in the grass, introduced myself, and let them take it away.
The students started by asking me about tedious things like housing assignments and academic requirements, but they soon began to dig deeper, asking me why I chose Duke and what my favorite part of being a Duke student has been. They led me to recall experiences like tenting in Kville, living on East, bringing Sugar Ray to campus, taking a course with Steve Nowicki (Dean of Undergraduate Education), traveling to New York City with my Focus program, studying abroad in Barcelona… They probably thought I was crazy when I rambled about everything this school has meant to me over the last three years. “This is so much more than an academic institution,” I told them. “It’s a place to grow, it’s a place to learn, it’s a place to find yourself and discover others and open your mind and take risks.” I love this school, and I love those eager high school seniors for forcing me to reflect on all of the reasons that it means so much to me. Needless to say, I’ve retrieved my peace of mind, and can’t seem to wipe the smile off of my face.
I ended my last post with a series of “you’re welcome”s. This post, I’ll end with one huge, sweeping, THANK YOU.
The views and opinions of the bloggers on this page are their own; they do not necessarily represent the views of the Undergraduate Admissions Office or of Duke University.