It was exactly one year ago that I received admission into the Student Development Administration program at Seattle University. They were the last good news after a string of admissions – and ultimately one of the schools (out of three) that I visited.
By the time I was getting ready to head to SDA Preview Days 2012, I was exhausted. I had just come off of two Preview Day experiences with other programs, had been interviewing for what felt like forever, and wasn’t sure if I could give 100% to yet another set. Besides, I was pretty much sold on attending another program. But, I almost immediately forgot about my exhaustion and lack of enthusiasm upon arriving in Seattle. It was my first time visiting the rainy city, and I was intrigued.
But what I found most impressive were the friendly dispositions of everyone I met affiliated with the program – students, administrators, and faculty alike. I found myself attracted to the Jesuit philosophy of care, not only because caring for others is an important part of my personal foundation, but also because I saw it being practiced all around me in the way Seattle University presented itself. The assistantship opportunities, the academic rigor, and social justice components of the program were all draws. Suddenly, I knew my graduate school choice was going to be a lot more complicated than I originally thought. By the end of the two days, I was in love with Seattle and Seattle U.
Three weeks later, I remember crying and jumping up and down with excitement that I had received my dream assistantship with the office of Housing and Residence Life. I accepted on the spot and took the necessary steps to enroll in the SDA program. I have not second guessed or regretted my decision ever since, and that in and of itself is a blessing beyond what I could have hoped for.
It is an honor and privilege to be co-coordinating SDA Preview Days this year. Being in charge of a program that was so important to my decision to attend Seattle University is both overwhelming and exciting. As the weeks shorten to days between now and when I help to welcome the first wave of prospective students, I cannot help but be grateful for where I am. There have been growing pains and moments of struggle, as is true of any transition, but the support and community I have been able to form and maintain here has been essential. I have had colleagues comfort me through difficult news, a supportive supervisor who challenges me and helps me grow, and faculty members who will call me out of concern if they sense that anything is wrong in the slightest. What more could I ask for from a graduate school experience?
Blessings and best of luck to all of our prospective students. I look forward to meeting you in the coming weeks!
Over and out,
MJ Jones, SDA Preview Days Co-Coordinator