Hey, hey, hey!
My name is Dezuara Ruiz, and I’m one of the New Student Orientation Coordinators this year! I personally think that my name sounds far too serious, so I go by Dez. I am a third year student here at Idaho State University (ISU), studying Public Relations.
I first stepped foot on ISU’s campus the summer after my junior year of high school. I knew that I would be too busy during my senior year with AP classes, my part-time job, and extracurriculars, so, that summer, I would need to take ALLLL the campus tours.
At the time, I was set on becoming a clinical psychologist, and Idaho State was notorious for its Psychology department. I remember the tour was your standard, “Look at all the cool things we have!,” tour, but at the end, I had the opportunity to talk to one of the recruitment counselors, Guillermo Raya. I expected him to list off even more reasons as to why I should come to ISU and to talk more about how ISU was *the* place for me.
Instead, he simply asked me about myself, what I wanted to do with my life, my college expectations, and why I wanted to go to college.
At the time, everyone demanded answers for my life plans, but never really stopped to ask why. To my own surprise, I told him everything: my involvement in my high school, my strong desire to help others, and my passion for fighting the stigma concerning mental illness. I had no idea who this man was, but there I was spilling my life story and sharing my craziest aspirations.
I admitted to him that I was scared to fail and disappoint my parents. I had a huge amount of pressure to succeed, as I’m a first generation college student, and both of my parents have incredibly high expectations for me. Instead of minimizing my fear, he simply said, “that fear is the only thing that will hold you back more anything. Just remember that failure is a part of success. I know you’re more than capable of accomplishing everything you have your heart set on.”
Approaching my senior year, I felt like the entire world made it seem like failure was not an option. Even though I still had to ask permission to use the restroom, I was still expected to have my entire life figured out flawlessly. This was the first time someone had been honest about the journey to success and made me feel like even though there would be hardships, it would be okay.
At that moment, I knew Idaho State University was a place where the people were genuinely interested in what the students wanted to do and had full faith they could accomplish it.
I left that day with an overwhelming feeling of belonging. Despite all of the tours I had been on and all of the beautiful campuses I had explored, this was the first time I wasn’t scared of the idea of college; in fact, I was excited for my future and all of the opportunities it had in store for me. More importantly, that was the first time I felt like I had found my new home.
At the end of each year, I’m reminded that I made the right decision, because the hardest part of being at ISU is saying goodbye and going home for the summer. As incoming first years, it’s hard to imagine something becoming so meaningful in your life, but whether it be because of the clubs you join, the friends you make, the faculty or programs, I hope that one day ISU also becomes your “home away from home.”
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