Soon, I will be returning to my university for my senior year where I will be serving as an orientation leader for the incoming freshmen during the month of August. I am ecstatic to have this opportunity because I care deeply for people who are younger than me, which interestingly enough stems from my admiration of people who are older than me. As the youngest child in my family, I was surrounded by older siblings and their friends. When they allowed me to tag along on their adventures or invited me into the inner sanctuary of their conversations, I was on cloud nine. It was in my senior year of high school that I finally felt I was in a position to bestow that same gratification. Now I could be the older one, the go-to person, the mentor.
Although I may be just three years older than the students I will be meeting in the fall, I have much to offer them. I have an in depth understanding of what they are about to experience. They don’t need to be nervous or intimidated about starting college because they can see that I’ve nearly made it through the journey on which they’ve just started. And I’ve survived. I will be able to assure them that the journey is good. It’s worth the time and effort, endurance and growth that it takes to complete. I trust that the young friends I will make will know these things already, but it is my job to serve as the reminder when they lose heart.
Now to my older ones, the ones whom I still look up to with fascination and excitement, thank you from the bottom of my heart for investing in me and my journey. Thank you for allowing me to be the younger, wide-eyed girl. Thank you for guiding me with your life experiences. I only hope to provide my mentees with the same inspiration and passion that you have shown to me.
Elaine Bailey is a full-time student majoring in Writing, Rhetoric and Communication. She also works as a tour guide for her cherished university. She’s in love with every corner of this world, and I end each adventure wondering when the next will begin