Browsing "Raw Thoughts"


I am not sure I will ever be able to pinpoint what it is about SCAD that I love so much. Not exactly. Today was the first SCAD Day of the year – a day when interested high school students come from all over the country to spend the day on campus. But it is so much more than just your average college visitation weekend. It is a highly organized, intense day packed full of information sessions, tours of academic buildings, lunch in the square, and one-on-one portfolio counseling. But it is also a super impressive glimpse of the passion and talent of our students and faculty that continues to blow me away. My part? My part is my favorite. I am a Student Ambassador. I am responsible for being “the face of the college” to prospective students and presenting SCAD in all its glory – face to face from a real, live current student. I think the opportunity visitors have to hear what SCAD is like from the student’s perspective is what makes the day so unique and personable. There are about seventy of us, and we are all giving looping tours on buses – answering questions, pointing out landmarks, and chatting about life at a top-tier art school. I love being able to put my genuine enthusiasm for my university on display for the day.

This is only my second SCAD Day… and something was rather magical about it. The key thing to me seemed to start this morning. As soon as my alarm went off at 7 AM, my nerves electrocuted my stomach. But getting out of bed (after a having a horrid nightmare about SCAD Day), I told myself, “Today is not about you. They are not here for you.” And that perspective seemed to make all the difference in terms of the pressure and nervousness. Sure, I wanted to do my best (and I did), but feeling personally responsible to accurately relay every fact, provide the most concise and directly helpful responses – essentially, to perform at 100% as a Student Ambassador… that is just unreasonable for me to expect of myself. Today I was simply me. And it was fantastic.

In putting that pressure aside, I was able to connect with my bus buddy, Emily, and get to know her quite well. (Ironically, we talked about me being so uptight and her being so laid back. I envy those people – including my brother – who can integrate themselves so seamlessly with most situations they find themselves in.) And our bus driver, BJ, was the best. Bus thirteen was my home for the day. Such positive energy. And relaxed, but in a passionate way. We created a little home on our bus. A network of acceptance and dependence… even if it was just for transportation and chit chat. (But it seemed so much more than that!) Truly, today was an amazing day in the life of Rachel. Sort of a small landmark in living a day out (in a typically high-pressure situation) in a more laid back way.

I think the key was all in the perspective. Realizing that SCAD Day is by no means (and I laugh now, with the ridiculous nature of the thought) an effort solely based on my input. It is a complex creation of the Admission Department, student leaders, student representatives, higher up authorities, bus drivers, cleaning crew… and I am just one of many. Yes, I needed to be prepared. Yes, I needed to be friendly, know my stuff, and give it my all. But doing those things is never the issue. I am beginning to see that the issue lies in my twisted perspective on my role. In my desire to perform flawlessly, I believe I have come to see my efforts and my knowledge as a crucial need of the world. And I have let my pride in those things I groom so well – being friendly and welcoming, knowing my SCAD facts – distort everything. It is a rather confusing concept even for me to grasp. But it is so huge! It is a sort of humbleness. In seeing the big picture. And letting life flow through that big picture, and stepping back to see where my input is most appropriate and valuable. Because I still very much enjoy giving. Only now I am beginning to get beyond myself and my nerves to see (truly see) a wonderful network of people just as dedicated as I am who are equally as responsible for the success of the day.

Am I any different? We’ll have to wait and see. I’m excited.