Longhorn to RedHawk

As some of you may know, last Friday I accepted my offer to attend Miami University and be a part of their Student Affairs in Higher Education cohort. I will also be working in the Office of Residence Life as a Graduate Residence Director. I’m a completely stoked about this opportunity and can’t wait for this journey to begin. 

My decision-making process was extremely difficult and extremely easy at the same time. For much of my 2015 #SAgradhunt, Miami was at the top of my list. I love that the program values inclusion, self-reflection, and self-authorship. These are all things that brought me to consider the program. In September, I had a google hangout with a friend in the program to get the student perspective of the program. You only can get so much from the website. I wanted a student’s real opinion of the program. After the conversation, I knew that I wanted to apply to Miami.

In October, I got a really random email saying that I was nominated to apply to the SAHE program. This was a shocker but it really made me want to apply more because I knew that someone wanted me there. Miami’s personal essay was the longest essay I’d seen written in the 2 years I’ve been in this process. The prompt was to basically reflect on, analyze and interpret your experiences as they contribute your whole self. This prompt was every open-ended but I decided to use it to explore my identities and who I am as a person. I titled my essay “Unearthing Me.” I edited it several times and had multiple eyes review it. I fully used the 5 page limit. I opened up a lot and let the admissions committee see me in-depth.

After submitting my application, all I could do was wait. A friend of mine said that she really saw me fitting with Miami. With Miami’s December 1st deadline, it felt like I was waiting forever. Mid-January came around and I had still heard nothing. Then one Saturday I get a phone call as I was leaving the hospital from a friend. I’m thinking we’re going to chat and he tells me that I was invited to SAHE interview days. I screamed! I was so excited. I then began to prep myself for the interviews. I had my first interview roughly a week or two after Miami’s invitation.

While Miami was my top choice program, I had been invited to interview for my top choice program in the 2014 #SAgradhunt as well. I didn’t have my hopes up with that program because I was unsure if what would happened in the previous grad hunt would happen again. I went to interview with the school and re-fell in love with the program. This program quickly climbed to the top of the list. I wanted it again and I wanted it bad. The interview was over, my mom asked me why I wanted that particular program. She asked if I wanted it because that is where I will fit or if I wanted because I couldn’t have it the year before. Initially, I ignored the thought but it stuck with me.

When I interviewed at Miami, I don’t think I fully appreciated it. I knew I wanted to be there, but I had some an amazing first interview that my mind was still on that school. I embraced the experiences I was having and the people I was meeting, but part of me was not fully in it. There were moments that really got me IN it like the mock class, inclusion dialogues and my faculty interview. It wasn’t until after I returned home and waited for the call that I really started to appreciate what I had experienced. I saw myself in the program. I was connected. That is what sold me – the connection I felt with everything.

When I got my offer with an assistantship, I literally jumped up and down. I was scared that I would get into the program but be wait listed for an assistantship. I got it and I knew that I would take Miami’s offer over every other program that I applied/interviewed for. The only things was that I wasn’t sure what I would do if I got an offer from the first program. I started to think about what the questions my mom asked me when I interviewed there. I started to think about what role I would play in the cohort based off the people I knew had already accepted offers there. I could see myself there at this time. In addition all the signs started to point towards Miami. A couple of days after I returned from my interview there, a customer came into the cafe wearing a Miami sweatshirt. I found out that a coworker’s son attend Miami for undergrad. The week I received my offer every dream revolved around Miami. I made my announcement video on Wednesday, two days after I received my offer. At that point I was still unsure what I would do with it. A coworker said that I had already made a decision. Subconsciously I did, but my conscious mind still wondered about the other program.

On Friday, I decided that I would take the offer. I was still unsure if I was making the right decision, but after the phone call I knew I did. Hearing the program coordinator say “YES!” after I accepted was so validating. I felt wanted and knew that I was in good hands. I told my mom and two of my mentors that night. On Saturday I told dad and stepmom and then the world. My announcement video was dubbed the most creative announcement people had seen by several people. The love and support made it all work it. After two years, I was finally in the program of my dreams. In two years, I applied to 8 programs in search of the best place for me to grow and start the journey to becoming the professional I want to be. I found that in Miami! I connected and the last time that happened I chose to attend the school for undergrad.

I’m proud to be a Longhorn! I’m proud to now be a RedHawk! I know only one other person who has been both and I will definitely be connecting with him. The connection I have with MY program (feels good saying that now) is one that I will always have and I can’t wait to start in the fall! Let the adventure begin!


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