Senior year is coming to an end. Commencement is less than 20 days away and it is hard to understand where the time has gone. I have taken my senior written exams, turned in my thesis, and passed my orals. These monumental parts of my Whitman experience seemed incredibly intimidating and well into the future when I was a first-year. I remember how long and enjoyable my first year at Whitman was and I remember thinking that three more years of this seems like a long time to be at Whitman. But the time has gone by incredibly fast! Looking back, there are several parts of my time at Whitman that stand out to me as particularly fulfilling experiences and memories. I thought I would share a few of them here.
I took an English class, expository writing, with Professor Hashimoto who will be retiring at the end of this year. When I came to Whitman, I did not consider myself to be a confident writer and knew it was a skill I was hoping to develop quickly. This class with Professor Hashimoto not only improved my writing, but it made me more confident in my writing and made writing an enjoyable experience.
During my sophomore and junior year, I was a Student Academic Advisor and a Resident Assistant. These two opportunities were probably some of the most fulfilling experiences I have had at Whitman. Welcoming new students, fostering a sense of community, helping students acclimate to Whitman culture, and forging meaningful connections with others was a great source of happiness to me during my time as an SA and RA.
When I came to Whitman, I knew I wanted to have new experiences, but I didn’t quite know what I was looking for. Prior to coming to Whitman, I had played the drums for about 9 years and knew I wanted to try something new. I decided to try dance to see how it was. I started in social dancing club and learned how to swing dance. Then I tried some hip hop, and modern, and then ballet. And this year, I learned how to salsa. I never thought I’d have the opportunity to perform on stage in front of students and faculty!
Throughout my time at Whitman, I captained an intramural basketball team and have played with my closes friends! Although I can only count the number of games we won over the past four years on one hand, the memory is one of a kind. Playing sports have kept be balanced and active, and it was a great way to meet other students and have a fun time with my friends on the team!
Community service has also been a big part of my time at Whitman. I was a part of the Big Buddies program and worked with an autistic student in Walla Walla. I read to a second-grade class once a week as a part of my involvement with the Story Time Project. I have adopted a grandparent in Walla Walla and spend time with him once a week. And lastly, I was a part of the Mr. Whitman campaign and helped raised funds for a non-profit based in Guatemala.
I led a SCORE (Summer Community OutReach Excursion) the summer before starting my senior year that was based on environmental justice and sustainability! Leading this trip was a lot of fun because I not only got to meet and bond with awesome first-year students, but I got to raise awareness of important environmental issues that are relevant to Walla Walla and introduce these students to the town and Whitman.
Lastly, this year, my roommate from my first-year and I are DJs for our campus radio station (KWCW). We host a show called, Old School Jamz, and we play our favorite songs from the late 90s and early 2000s. It has been so much fun to have this memory with him once a week and to listen to songs that take us back to our grade-school days. This is definitely an experience I didn’t think I would have!
These are just a few highlights of my time at Whitman. There are so many smaller and larger parts of my Whitman experience that have brought fulfillment and happiness to my life! It’s been an incredible four years and thinking about leaving is bitter sweet. But one thing is for sure – it’s a four years I will never forget!