I have somewhat dreaded writing this since the end of last semester. I can’t think of anyone who is excited to leave a job and people they love—which is what The Reflector has been for me—even if they are looking forward to what’s coming next.
When I came to the University of Indianapolis as a freshman, I was struggling. I had only an inkling of what I wanted to study. I missed my parents and brother. I didn’t have very many friends and I wasn’t sure where to find them. Over the course of my first semester, I declared my major (English Teaching) and adjusted to being on my own, but I was still struggling with the whole social life thing. When I got an email from The Reflector’s advisor, Jeanne Criswell, inviting me to enroll in Applied Journalism, I decided to give it a shot. I didn’t realize at the time how much that decision, as cliche as it sounds, would impact my life.
I’ll be honest, after my first two semesters on staff, I wanted to quit. It was a lot of work and I was struggling to see how it was benefiting me as I was not a communication major. But something told me to stick it out, and I listened. Second semester of my sophomore year, when the former Editor-in-Chief and Managing Editor came to me and said, ‘We want you to apply for Feature Editor,’ I remember thinking, ‘You want me?’ But I applied. For whatever reason, I got hired.
At that point, I started learning all sorts of new things—how to edit, collaborate with a team, critique and be critiqued, make tough decisions, stand up for myself. I became more involved with the management staff through our productions on Fridays, where we worked but also laughed at stupid things and talked about obscure topics. I gradually befriended Zoë, who is now my best friend, and the other editors and managers, whom I love dearly. As I learned and grew, they were there to support me, cheering me up when I was stressed out at production, making me laugh harder than I ever have before, praising me when I did well and helping me know what to do better when I struggled. I’ve also gotten to know our staff writers this semester, many of whom brighten my Mondays and Wednesdays and have become my friends as well.
There is so much more that I could say, but I’m aiming to keep this as short as I possibly can. Being a part of The Reflector not only helped me to grow as a leader, teacher, writer and person, but it also gave me a place to belong and the most wonderful friends and support system anyone could ask for. To Jeanne, thank you for that email three years ago and your mentorship. To my friends on staff, thank you for being the kind, funny and supportive people you are. I am sad to leave, but I know that I will still have these friendships and that The Reflector is in the hands of the people who can continue to make it better than it currently is.
Coming to UIndy was an easy choice for me since I never visited any school, not even UIndy. I was born in Venezuela and only lived there for 5 years, after moving to Mexico the goal was to play a sport and go to college in the States. My first step into that goal was following my older sister to Canada for my junior and senior year of high school. I decided to go to Lambrick Park Secondary School, since they had a softball and baseball academy. I made great friendships there and had a wonderful home stay that always supported me besides my direct family members. When senior year of highs school arrived and I had to make a decision on what college I wanted to go to, I actually picked randomly and chose UIndy.
I like the classroom sizes, the dorms, how close it was to downtown Indianapolis, and I had never been to the Midwest. Traveling and exploring have always been a priority in my mind and going to a new place for four years without another option seemed like a great option to meet new people and be forced to stay in the same place for a longer period of time.
Choosing UIndy was easy for me, choosing to major in graphic design was easy for me, choosing to work with The Reflector was easy. It has been a short experience but truly have taught me to be a stronger leader, has made me stronger in my design and overall grow as a person surrounded by so many great people. All the decisions that I made to get where I am today were easy. But now that my four years are coming to an end the hard part begins.
Saying goodbye to new friends from The Reflector, like Abby and Sophie. Saying goodbye to my sister who is a student at UIndy as well as an RA with me. There is one thing that I am 100 percent confident is that I will always look back at my college experience and remember all the wonderful friends that I have made, and the opportunities that have supported me as a student and designer. UIndy not only gave me my best friends but also a reason for me to want to stay around the city after graduation.
I came to UIndy three years ago with no real vision of my future. I transferred from Wheeling Jesuit University not completely knowing if college was for me. But in my time here I can truly say I have found myself and become a better person. I was fortunate enough to be part of the newly formed men’s lacrosse team and help lead them to their first conference title in program history in just the third season of existence. But most importantly, I created lasting memories and a culture of family with people who will be my lifelong best friends.
Academically, I changed my major three times and settled in communication with an emphasis in public relations. The communication department and school as a whole have allowed for me to explore the PR field. I succeeded at times and at times I failed, but I was comforted by the safety net of my professors and classmates. It’s cliche I know, but I can honestly say that my time at UIndy has helped me become the person I am today. I now have the professional tools I need to succeed, an amazing support system to fall back on and a better vision of what I want my life to look like.
I am truly honored to have attended UIndy and created the friendships I have.