I have been working as a student aide for one of the office departments at the College of Saint Elizabeth .As always, I am amazed by the little things that go on at the college. There is no doubt that as a student aide in an office, you know a couple more things than the average student. I work for Institutional Advancement, a department dedicated to raise funds to use for scholarships among other things.
A couple months ago, I heard some students say that they would not give back to the college for a variety of reasons. This seemed unfathomable to me, mostly because my experience here has been great and I would love to give back to keep the college going. Upon discovering that donations are the ones that (for the most part) are used for scholarships, I clung to my resolve even more. I am someone who relies on financial aid, without it, I would not have been able to attend college at all. I was fortunate to have been accepted to a college that was so giving. The least I can do is help a couple of the students who are just like me.
CSE has left a great impact on me, but nothing can compare to the impact it has left on previous generations. Through my work, I have seen people who graduated decades ago still give to the college and get involved in other projects. I have seen family members send notifications to the college that unfortunately an alum has passed away. I have seen the college give their condolences and try to the commemorate the individual. The love this college has for their students and vice versa is something that I have never experienced before. (There will always be flaws, but that doesn’t change the fact that the love still exists).
A couple days ago, as I was sitting on my desk at my job, I saw two middle aged women come in. They said that they drove for hours to see the college that many of their family members had attended. They were given a tour of the college and by the end, they asked if they could see the year books. As turns out, the amount of family members that attended this college goes back to 1923. How amazing is that! To have so much history in one place. The eagerly flipped through the yearbooks to find their grandmothers, mothers, cousins and sisters. As I heard them giggle like little girls, I couldn’t help but feel proud to be part of such an institution. There are several students whose family members went here too and it never fails to amaze me.I never knew what I wanted in a college, I never knew that it was so important until it was too late. I will not say that I came to this college and just stuck with it. I would not stay in a place that I didn’t like. From the moment I stepped into open house, I knew this was the right choice for me. Everyone is just so welcoming and professional-student relationships can become so personal at times that it is comforting. It wasn’t until I heard those two women giggle that I knew that this is what I wanted in a college. A place with history, with empowerment, a place worth remembering. It doesn’t matter that it’s not the best school by statistics, because it is the best school for me. And when I graduate next year, my heart will break at the thought that I will leave a place that helped me grow.