Stories were a defining aspect of my college career. Whether I was sitting in a formal class setting or lounging around in my apartment, I was always sharing stories with those around me. My favorite thing about stories is that they have the power to provoke emotions. There’s just something about that fact that it could make someone smile, laugh, or even cry that I find so interesting.

Even in my organizations, stories always worked their way in. As a Mason Ambassador, I was required to share My Mason Story, or why I chose to attend George Mason University, at the end of every tour. While standing in front of the Mason statue, I took my tour groups through my journey that brought me to Virginia. Sometimes, I was met with blank stares, but other times, I was met with smiles and giggles. One time, a prospective student even told me that she was choosing Mason because of the passion I showed when sharing my story.

As a Peer Advisor, I shared stories about my time at Mason with my students. Stories were the anecdotes I used to enhance a lesson – and they were easier for my students to remember in the long run. But, even more than that, it was my way of connecting with the class on a more personal level. My students always smiled when I told them how my 2AM trips to the dining hall just to get mac ‘n’ cheese bites and laughed when I told them how I completely messed up a speech in my public speaking class. When I gave them a peek into my life, they no longer saw me as a teacher, they saw me as a peer.

Stories played a big role in my past four years as a Mason student, so I wanted my graduation cap to reflect that. In saying that the story goes on, I also wanted to insinuate that this chapter of my life is closing, but the rest of the story is just waiting to be written.

To all of those who listened to my stories and helped me write them: thank you.

 Now, I want to close this blog out like I ended all of my tours. Here is a glimpse into My Mason Story:

“In April 2016 – just a mere two weeks before the decision deadline – I came to Spring Preview, which is our admitted student day on campus. When I got here, there were Ambassadors, like myself now, dancing and saying ‘Welcome to Mason!’ and green and gold was everywhere. I sat down in EagleBank Arena, turned to my mom and said ‘This is it. I have to go here.’ The reason I said that to her at that time is because I was looking for a school with a lot of school spirit. I wanted a community, and I felt like I found that here. And, over the past four years, I have been proved nothing but right. The academics here are great, but the reason I chose George Mason is because of the community and the unity I felt on campus.”