Can you remember your very first day of school, or at least, imagine it? Have you ever been the new kid that transferred from another school, excited to meet new friends and experience new things, but nervous and anxious at the same time, because well — “What if they don’t like me?” or, “What if I don’t fit in?”
All of the above mentioned was me, about a month ago when I started my journey as the Public Relations coordinator on the Utica Campus of Hinds. I was (and still am) the "new kid on the block."
My first day was on a Monday morning. I left home just in time to go the speed limit the entire way to work (my mother would be so proud). I walked in to the vice president’s office and had no idea that I was about to meet three individuals who are now three of the best people that I know! They were, of course, Dr. Debra Mays-Jackson, her administrative assistant Tracie Jefferson and Academic Dean Dr. Mitchell Shears, who all welcomed me with open arms.
Dr. Mays-Jackson, Dr. Shears and Mrs. Jefferson have provided some of the best encouragement over the past month – and a bit of comic relief, too.
I was then introduced to my immediate supervisor, Dr. Tim Rush, Dean of Students, who would give me the grand tour and show me all of the ropes. He did a wonderful job of assuring me that "all was well" and took me from door to door, introducing me to each department.
Dean Rush and Mrs. Taylor have adopted me as their "problem child" with a million questions and I'm so thankful!
As Dean Rush showed me around campus, I began to think to myself “I think I’m really going to like it here.” Just as the first day of school comes to and end and the jitters go away, it happened for me.
The next day I drove to campus (a little faster, sorry Mom) more confident, and ready to tackle the day.
I parked and got out of the car and walked up to the George Everett Barnes Technology Building, where my office is located. I took a deep breath and said to myself “LET’S DO THIS.”
That second day, I discovered that one of my favorite places on the Utica Campus is the cafeteria; and it’s not just because I love food. Believe me — I do. The staff there have been friendly and welcoming to me from the moment that we were introduced, and it’s always one of the highlights of my day to walk across campus to get greetings from them, and (usually) my first meal of the day – because I never eat breakfast.
Another favorite place of mine is the bell tower on campus. On each corner of the structure sits a bench, perfect for getting to know the student or faculty member who takes a seat beside me, or just catching a breather on a chaotic afternoon when I’m running from building to building taking photos for 7,323,784 events on campus that are all happening at the very same second.
And last, but not least – my most favorite place, on campus is right here, in my office. I’m making it my own. This is where the "magic" happens. Sure, my desk isn’t always tidy – but neither is my house most of the time (unless my parents are coming to visit). And even though I’ll be moving to the renovated Student Union building once it’s complete, I’ll always remember that 101 A in the Technology building is where it all started.