Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

More than just the books: My Augie experience

Throughout my four years at Augustana, I have gained much more than just an education. Yeah, I know the process of how cells divide, what a femur is, and more than I ever wanted to know about model organisms, but what’s important to me is the experiences that have encouraged me to grow as a person. Lots of people come to college thinking all they have to do is learn the material, but in order to grow and reach your full potential, you need to be observant and be able to use the skills you learned both in and outside the classroom.
Coming in from high school, I was very quiet and never really spoke up much. I essentially let people walk over me. I’m much different now. As my close friends will tell you I’m one of the most honest people they know. Some may say I’m intimidating, others will call me determined.
I’ve held a total of eight executive positions during college, which is much more than I ever thought I would have held. I’ve been the president of two groups (shout out to Alpha Phi Omega and the Asian Student Organization) at the same time, which taught me major time management skills and how to interact with large groups of people. This is how I know I have grown as a person over the years; I would have never lead a group, let alone two if I was still my old self.
I’m not afraid to speak out about the problems we have on campus. I have especially found a passion for advocating for diversity, not just for people of color, but other types of diversity as well. I sincerely hope that the diversity issue is addressed at Augie in the upcoming years, not by just advocating for one race, one sexuality, or for one gender, etc because all of them are important. I’ve gained the courage to call people out on the skewed view of diversity and how we actually still lack diversity on campus. I have gained a new perspective on what diversity actually is, and having people of color is not the only thing that accounts for diversity.  I’ve put my energy into writing and telling stories, even though I’m a biology major. I hope to be a Physician Assistant and use my skills from the Observer in my field of work to at least attempt to make the world better one step at a time.
With all of the things that have helped me gain a better sense of self, I have learned many things. I learned that I’m a great leader and that I can inspire others to be leaders too. I have encouraged even the quietest students to step outside their comfort zone, and that makes me feel good that I gave somebody confidence that they didn’t think they had. I learned that I am definitely a type A person; my schedule is always planned down to a T, thanks to my planner and bullet journal. I learned that I’m very much an overachiever, to a fault sometimes. I pushed myself to be involved and active on campus, and I have loved nearly every moment of it.
I’ve made friends that I know will last a lifetime. Some may only last until graduation, and I find myself ok with that. People change, sometimes for the worse, sometimes for the better, but that’s what college is about: change.
I’m not going to lie, there have been rough times I’ve had at Augustana, whether that be because of stress or from lack of support. The better experiences have more than made up for the sad moments. One thing I’ve realized is that you have to be strong enough to reach out for help and take care of yourself because, at the end of the day, it’s your college experience, not anybody else’s. Make the best of your experience, because you only get to live it once. Through these experiences, I have gained a new sense of confidence, found my voice and know much more about myself than I ever had before.
Despite some negative things that occurred during my college career, I have gained many skills I would’ve never gained as my old self. While I’ll miss Augie, my mentors and my beloved friends, I am excited to move onto a new chapter of my life.
To my friends, family and Observer colleagues, I love you all. Thank you for sticking by my side through the years here, even if we only knew each other for a short time, know that it was meaningful and that I will always remember and appreciate you.

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More than just the books: My Augie experience