I rolled out of bed at 6:30 a.m., right as my alarm went off. Even my sleepy brain knew that I had no time for the snooze button. But that doesn’t mean I fully woke up. My brain slowly became more engaged with the life that surrounded me, but it wasn’t until 1 p.m. when the room shook with laughter that I fully awoke.
I spent my Saturday with prospective students and their parents, answering their questions, helping to quell their concerns and discussing what―and who―the University of Dallas is. I’ve worked for the admissions office for almost two semesters now, and there are always new and challenging questions for me to answer. However, I’ve developed a standard method of answering them.
After a long and stressful week of midterms and a very early morning, it was hard not to fall into autopilot. I struggled not to mimic what I’ve heard admissions counselors say rather than to explain my personal experience and beliefs.
My energy was low in part because I just couldn’t find the personal motivation and investment in the liberal arts that I had experienced as a freshman and sophomore. Shouldn’t I love UD’s liberal arts even more now that I’ve experienced it through the Core and in Rome? Shouldn’t I be continually singing UD’s praises if its education truly is what we in the admissions office say it is?
Spoiler alert: it turns out that I absolutely do love UD’s liberal arts and its education! I just had to be reminded of it.
I had become tired and mentally lethargic―caught up in the specifics of that last test and that upcoming assignment. I needed to remember that the grade on my midterm isn’t what really matters and that the number of pages in my paper isn’t as important as what I learned through that paper.
My reminder was the laughter that shook the room as a panel of five of our UD professors answered prospective students’ questions. Saturday’s students are the best of our prospective 2021 freshmen, and they asked the questions that mattered―the same questions I had as a prospie.
The professors gave answers similar to those I heard three years ago. But hearing this dialogue now as a UD student, I appreciated UD’s identity and purpose even more because these aren’t just empty words and promises. If you engage and invest yourself in the UD education, you will see that UD does fulfill its mission statement in a deeply personal way.
After the panel, I was truly awake. I had a bounce in my step, and an energy not just prompted by a few shots of espresso but also through a much-needed reminder of why I am here at UD.
Think back to your pre-college days. Remember the anxiety of choosing the right school, and remember why you chose UD. For those of you still plodding through midterms, for those seniors with just a tad of senioritis, for those freshmen who might be questioning what they’ve gotten themselves into, remind yourself why you came to UD. Channel that inquisitive energy and drive that motivated you to come here and use it to learn liberating things that you will keep with you your entire life.