Ithaca College provided me with a lot of opportunities that I never thought were possible. Some of them are obvious, but a lot of them came from the subtleties. Going to the college and seeing the opportunities others were taking inspired me to go after them myself.
When I first started at the college, I wanted to do everything, and I truly do mean everything. I wanted to join all the clubs and organizations: ICTV, WICB, The Ithacan, IC Afterdark and honestly everything I could think of. It wasn’t a realistic dream, but I definitely tried. During my first year and sophomore year, I joined a very unique group of organizations. I was a part of ICTV’s shows GameOver and After Hours, the D.O.P.E. Steppers, HiFashion, Students Today Alumni Tomorrow, Ujima: Black Students Engaged, Sister 2 Sisters, The Ithacan and my sophomore year I was even a Resident Assistant. It sounds like a lot because it is. I was only ever motivated to get involved so much because I thought I needed to be. Hustle culture and always being busy made me think that I needed to fill my time with things that not only were important to me, but would also help me in the long run.
Since then, I have dwindled down on my responsibilities and the expectations of myself, but that was more because of the COVID-19 pandemic and for my own mental health. It just wasn’t sustainable anymore to try and work at the capacity I was.
The bright side is through everything I was a part of, I learned a lot about myself and the person I wanted to be.
Students Today Alumni Tomorrow (STAT) helps run and oversee the NYC Networking night that happens in early January. One of my favorite memories is when me and my friends, Elizabeth and Maddy, stayed in a hotel together the night before and went to the event together. Maddy was officially working it for STAT and Elizbeth and I were just there for the fun. Either way, I got a lot of advice that night and talked to different alumni in the fields I want to be in. I don’t think that would’ve happened if my friends hadn’t convinced me to go.
More big opportunities came my way through my involvement in The Ithacan. For the most part, I started focusing more of my time and energy there. I went from being a staff photographer to the social media editor, then the community outreach manager and now the managing editor. I never would have thought that I would be the managing editor when I was a freshman because I was too scared to even step foot into the office. Ironically enough, without even really thinking of the prompt for this week, I just noticed that in the Ithacan trophy case there’s an award with my name on it. Apparently, in 2020, we were awarded first place for Best Use of Social Media for the New York Press Association Better College Newspaper Competition. I promise this is not a brag sheet or anything of the sort, it was just so satisfying to know that my work was being recognized, even if everyone else knew this way before me.
With The Ithacan, I also had the chance to start my own podcast: something I’ve always wanted to do, but never thought possible. I worked with our legit genius-level podcast editor, Ilyana Castillo, every week to produce episodes that should start deeper conversations about identities we have on campus.
I think my time at the college has served me well. The opportunities to learn, whether it was in The Ithacan office, at S’Park my first year, in the classroom or somewhere else have all served me well in figuring out what my next steps will be and the type of person I want to be.