The best decision I’ve made in my life? Going to Purdue. Hands down. It’s where I made my best and closest friends. It’s where I learned about myself and my talents. It’s where I had some of my greatest triumphs, and where I learned from my greatest failures. It’s where I became me.
Few experiences in life can rival college. And Purdue, I believe, is the quintessential example of this. Maybe it’s my bias as an alum, but there truly is something special about Purdue. Whether it’s the determination and creativity that serves to solve the world’s greatest challenges or to wake up at 7 am on a Saturday morning in a home-made costume, Purdue made us more impressive, capable, and driven individuals than we were when we first moved in to the dorms.
Now, I wouldn’t say I took it for granted, but I definitely did not realize how special it was while I was in it. I guess you could say having the view from outside of the school has given me a better understanding of how great it was. Now I know what my parents meant when they said “these are some of the best years of your life.” But I’m not looking back to say “gosh, I wish I could do it again.” It’s more of a “how can I make sure other Boilermakers can feel the same way about their experience about Purdue?” As an alum I feel it’s my responsibility to pay it back to the University.
My involvement at Purdue exposed me to the many ways to give back. Certainly, when we hear that phrase – “give back” – we immediately check our wallets and think about how much (or little) we have in our bank accounts. But “giving” isn’t a donation of money in my mind – at least not exclusively. It’s about honoring that responsibility as a Purdue alumnus to provide for current students the same experience – or a better one – than we had.
To date, I have spent time at Purdue recruiting for full time positions at my company, given countless hours of time on phone calls for career counseling, and offered my time to the Krannert School’s career services office. I’ve reached out to potentially serve on the Krannert School’s Alumni Association Board, and, I’m writing this story as a result of asking a friend how I could help her endeavors in the Development Office. Note there is no money involved in any of these commitments. But the impact they can have, I would argue, is just as critical to the success of Purdue, and can instill the same sense of fulfillment that donating to a scholarship can give.
In addition to giving time, I also looked to give back financially to Purdue. Nothing that will get my name immortalized or put on a building, but something that will have a direct impact on something I felt defined the Purdue experience. For me, that was a student group I was a part of for four years. It introduced me to some of my closest friends. It provided me with some of the greatest experiences and memories of my time at Purdue. But most of all, it made Purdue the place it is in mine and other Boilermakers’ hearts – our school.
So, what’s your story? How are you going to honor your responsibility to fellow Boilermakers?
Boiler Up, and Hail Purdue!
B.S. Management, 2011