My Cyclone Aide Experience
Around this time last year, I was very unfamiliar with Iowa State University as a freshman new to campus. I was a navigator without a map, learning things as I went and becoming more independent every day. It was scary at times; I wasn’t able to come home to my mother every day, or see the same people I played sports with and had been around for four years. This made it difficult at times to be at college. One of the things that kept me from giving up was excitement for being on the adventure I was embarking on. I was pursuing my interests at Iowa State, and meeting so many new people with similar or unique interests, and it made me love the university all the more. When I first heard about the Cyclone Aide position, I saw it as a fun opportunity to share my passion for Iowa State with others, and to meet even more incredible individuals that would be joining me on campus. What I didn’t realize is that it would open the doors for many more opportunities.
Being a Cyclone Aide has provided me knowledge on everything Iowa State has to offer to its students. From the academic support provided to supplement success, to the recreational services that allow students to embrace their competitive or playful side, to the limitless clubs and organizations that encourage people to find their niche or try something new, I discovered each of these aspects (and many more) during my time as a Cyclone Aide. These benefited not only incoming freshmen students, but current students, myself included. I enjoy helping others, and the opportunity to guide someone in the right direction is an opportunity I would never turn down.
Being a Cyclone Aide also taught me how to be empathetic towards others. The transition to college can be an emotional one for both students and families, something that was evident during orientation. It reminded me of how I felt during my own orientation: nervous, overwhelmed, and unsure if I was ready. I was able to draw on these feelings, and provide personal stories of my own journey, and what I had made out of tough situations. Although I may not have been in the same shoes as the individual, I worked to place myself in their perspective, and to help them feel at home.
One of the largest lessons I drew from being a Cyclone Aide was the impact such a minuscule effort can have. Whether I found a woman’s sweater on a CyRide bus and returned it to her, or I answered a question that had been concerning an incoming student all day, the gratitude people expressed for our actions was incredibly rewarding. I enjoy helping others, and this position gave me so many opportunities to be that helping hand for students and their families.
Fast forwarding to one year later, as I sit here writing this post, I reflect on where I was last year, and who I was as an individual. Since deciding to apply to be a Cyclone Aide, I have grown in knowledge about the university, in confidence of my abilities, and as a student of Iowa State University. I have to thank my past self, because I made what has been the best decision in my college career yet.
Megan is a sophomore in pre-diet and exercise and was a 2016 Cyclone Aide.