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Final Reflections: Four Years Later

This is it. The final post. There are some days when I want to go back four years and find a younger Hailley just beginning to explore campus. If I could tell her one thing, I would say, "Be patient. Good things are headed your way."

I've thought all summer about how I would write this final blog post. Sentences ran through my mind and I brainstormed hundreds of ways to start and end this post and this blog. But how on earth do I write about four incredible years in a couple hundred of words? It seems nearly impossible.

Coe gave the opportunity to do incredible things. It provided an environment I could thrive in, and an environment where I could grow and change. Throughout the entire transformation process, I was surrounded by people who cared about me. These people pushed me to be the best version of myself every day and also were not afraid to provide constructive criticism. They listened to my ideas, fueled my motivation and passion, and collaborated with me. I wouldn't be where I am today without the Kohawk family.

I learned in and out of the classroom; I had all these places on campus to learn. My academic life was intertwined with my extra-curricular life. Skills I acquired in the classroom translated to my leadership roles in a wide variety of clubs (and vice versa). My ability to be a leader on campus helped me be ready for all my off campus adventures -- Writing Center conferences across the United States, three May Terms, and four incredible months in New York City. As people not from Coe heard about my experiences on campus, they were amazed time after time. Coe had made it possible for my various adventures to occur and all I had to do was capitalize on the opportunities they placed in front of me.  

And while I had so many good times, I also had struggles. However, whether it was stress, overcommitment, family illness, college drama, or just an off day, Coe was there to help me. A friendly smile on the walk to class, a passionate meeting with a professor on an upcoming paper topic, or an unexpected coffee date with a friend I hadn't chatted with in a while always reminded me of who I was and how I could push through, no matter what was going on in my life. I am coming to graduate school with a support system that is powerful and strong. I have thousands good memories too (don't you worry) from late nights in the Writing Center, to muffin making adventures with Millie, to running around Cedar Rapids, and even to just going to events on campus.  

I remember coming to campus with this energy and excitement for the things to come. College was a whole new ball game and I was ready to step up to the plate. And I am leaving Coe feeling the same way -- excited for the next adventure in graduate school. Coe allowed me the space to become an integral part of a community whose mission is to see you passionate about something you care about and to see you succeed. I was able to make a difference, to be a mover and shaker, and I can't thank Coe enough for that.

So with that, Kohawk Talk by Hailley is coming to a close. Just because I won't publish any new posts doesn't mean you can't look back and see what I did. The blog won't go away. And don't worry, I can't stop blogging just yet. Follow me on my new blog for graduate school, apptly titled #LibraryScience. It's on the blog platform Tumblr, which allows me to reblog items related to the library science field for a more professional/personal blog all rolled into one.

A big shout out to the Kohawk Nation. Thank you for everything and I can't wait to see you all again soon!


The Final Day in Admissions

When I introduced myself on summer tours, I was always quick to add that I had been working in the Admission Office since 2011. When a father asked me how many tours I had given, it took me a moment to realize I had no good idea. For me, working in Admissions had become a way of life. Something I did and something I enjoyed. There's nothing better than getting back from a tour knowing that you showed a prospective student your Coe and that they found that Coe exciting and a place they could also see themselves at. 

The people I worked with in Admissions also became another Coe family. They were there to hear all my news, good and bad. And they were the people who celebrated my triumphs and went along with my crazy brainstorming or wild ideas. I grew so much in that office that I hadn't quite realized how hard it would be to leave. 

Last Wednesday, I had my final day at the Nassif House. I walked confidently in the front door, thinking back to my first day in August 2011. On my first day, I was wearing a skirt and it happened to be the day when our year supply of bottled water came in. I remember carry cases of water in my slight heels and skirt, thinking it was a horrible idea to be business casual on my first day. 

However, that didn't stop me from wearing almost exclusively business casual for the rest of my time in the office. 

The office had made some treats and I was welcomed to a pretty nice spread of snacks! 

The day was a normal day. It was a busy day and I didn't stop moving until around 4 PM. I had two tours, both for potential transfer students. While the tours went really well, they were also sort of anti-climatic, just because they weren't the bread and butter tours I had been use to giving. On top of tours, I was still helping to clean up after a successful IPCW and finish up a few projects to help prep the office for the beginning of the school year. 

It was at the end of the day where I got emotional. It was tough to leave the office and all my wonderful co-workers. We all kept saying the same thing: this isn't the final goodbye. Only a brief goodbye before I come back for a visit! I can't brag enough about the lessons, skills, and experiences the Nassif House has given me. I am so thankful for working there and thankful for the second family I was able to be a part of. I may not be giving regulars tours, but the Nassif House will always play a special part in the all the cool things I did while at Coe. 


The Third Year: IPCW 2014 Edition

On Friday afternoon as the tour groups headed to the cafeteria for ice cream, I smiled knowing I had completed my thirtieth Iowa Private College Week (IPCW) session. Well, thirty one, if you count the Friday afternoon session five years ago when I first visited Coe. For me, the week begun on Sunday, as we prepped our student workers and set up places like Kesler Auditorium, where the panel was going to be held.

This week, in comparison to the other two years where I've helped with the program, was the busiest. The funny part was, I didn't even give too many tours; I spent a lot of time checking in with others and making sure things were running smoothly. Yet, day after day, I left my apartment around a quarter to 8 AM and didn't return until well after 5 PM. Lots of coffee was needed. And doughnuts.

The busiest week was also extremely successful. Having done the program two times before, I knew the drill. I was confident in our #StudentTakeover theme and was proud of all the hard work myself, my co-worker Alex, my peers, and the rest of the Admission staff had put into the planning and preparation of this week.

What's great about this week is two-fold -- first, I have the chance to meet some amazing potential Kohawks. It's fun to see high schoolers excited about college, especially when they begin to see themselves as Kohawks. Second, it's great to share my experiences at Coe with others. My favorite part of IPCW is being on the panel. You get to hear what prospective students and their parents are wondering about Coe and you get to help them create a clearer path on their college search. Coe has given me so much and the chance to give back by bragging about how great Coe is, is an opportunity I take with great gusto.

Overall, the week was a blast. I got to drive a golf cart (who doesn't love that) and even got a shout out from President McInally at my 30th panel.

I think I've recovered from the week and am ready for the FINAL (yes final) week at Coe. Have three days left in Admissions, then a day of packing and then a day of moving to graduate school. It's so crazy to think summer has just flown by so quickly. In addition, I only have a few posts left on this blog, another indication of how fast time moves.