As a first-generation college student, it was tough trying to find the right school. I didn't have a college role-model or a survival guide to get me through, so paving my own way was the greatest challenge I've ever faced. But, once I became a Lute, I knew that PLU was where I belonged. As I enter my senior year, it's hard to believe that my undergrad experience will soon be over. It feels like it was just yesterday that I was packing up my room to move to my forever home, and my soon-to-be alma mater.
In three-and-a-half years, it's so humbling to know that PLU has helped me grow into the Leslie I have come to know at this moment. Although it is bittersweet, I know I can always look back at who I have become, what I've learned, who I've met, where I've been, while anticipating where I'll be going next. I have been taught by so many passionate professors that have allowed me to discover my academic passions, and continuously supported my every effort towards becoming a young professional in the Public Relations and Advertising world. I've had the opportunity to work with extraordinary staff members who have recognized and praised my strengths, talents, and potential, even when I didn't. And, of course, I met some pretty incredible students who I never thought would become my closest friends, who have been there for me through thick and thin, and will be forever.
My time as a Lute would have never been made possible if it wasn't for my phenomenal scholarship donors and organizations. Sometimes as I walk around campus on a sunny spring day, participate in a student event, or grab dinner with some PLU folk, I often have to remind myself that being here really isn't a dream. It's real, and I have cherished every single moment of it. For anyone to be able to transform someone's life into what mine has become is simply awe-inspiring.
I couldn't be happier with what awaits me in my final semester at PLU. I will be working as one of the New Student Orientation Coordinators for Student Involvement and Leadership. Once September comes around the corner, I'll get see the final product of Fall 2013 Orientation, and I am so excited for all the incoming Lutes to come home! I will also be continuing my job as the Social Media Marketing Intern for PLU Career Connections, as well as beginning three new leadership positions with PLU Student Involvement as a Late Night Programmer, Student Assistant for the Resident Director for South/Kreidler Halls, and Women's Center Intern. As I take on each of these new leadership roles, I hope to continue learning, thriving and serving as a leader at PLU and within my community, and don't plan on stopping even after I say goodbye.