Walking through campus today reminded me of when I worked at the happiest amusement park on Earth. As part of the cast, my role contributed to the highlight of a lifetime for many, while not distracting from the moments. During their visits, guests shared their personal or collective biggest thrills, chills, challenges and happiest day in the sun. When their time ended, they left permanently touched, often changed, by the experience all the while, blind to what magical extremely complex operations happened behind the curtain.
Allow me to expand your mind suggesting that going back to school felt like not simply a full-circle moment, but what I think a circular moment in time feels like! With every great first and ongoing impression, every wise use of my time searching out great opportunities, and rubbing elbows with connected people I am not only benefiting my future ultimately, but also redoing my past at the same time.
How many “If I knew then what I know now” moments do you look back on in college or life? I’m grateful for the opportunity to be back in the welcoming, familiar college environment. When I attended college, I went to classes, stayed up for a few all-nighters and hung out with my roommates. I truly did not go out of my way to find parties, mentors or career connections. Being fully submersed once again in the exuberant, hopeful and hungry energy of students, with the benefit of adult perspective, brought me full circle.
I greet my colleagues as we pass on campus, pausing occasionally to catch up – having been gone six weeks between assignments. Out of the corner of my eye I see the co-ed I was shadowing my behavior with other students or professors. If asked, my shared wisdom to students is “It matters who you know.” College presents the unique opportunity to not only increase the numbers of people you know face-to-face, but also the chance to expand your horizons and make the borders friendlier. While every student travels a similar path, individual’s life experiences and lessons learned along the way are invaluable. Also, never forget that “Lessons appear anywhere” and “It’s never too late to start.”