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The Most Meaningful Experience: What it Really Means to be a Student Leader

Initially, when I came to college, I decided that my main focus was going to be school.  My own experience and my learning were all that I wanted to focus on.  However, fast forward to a year later.  I am still extremely invested in school and my own learning, but I have also found a healthy balance.  I am also active in the community here at Regis College.

I transferred into Regis College one year ago this semester.  I had left my previous college because I found their alternative approach to education to be unsatisfactory, and I truly felt like there was no sense of community.  At first, I was hesitant about getting involved at Regis.  I had figured that everyone already had all their friends and that these groups were set in stone.  However, I found myself gifted with the warmest welcome from this community.  The first kind soul I met on this campus was Alfred, followed quickly by Kelly Brochu, Assistant Director of Residence, who apologized that he was so friendly (which was no problem because, honestly, who doesn’t like dogs?)  When I got my key from Residence Life, everyone already knew my name. Bridget Buoniconti, Director of Residence Life, gave me a map and pointed out all the buildings.  Jim Wilson, Area Coordinator, helped me move in to Angela Hall (the top floor, might I add).  I then proceeded to have an incredibly smooth Orientation, where I met some wonderfully kind faculty (shoutout to Dean Walt Horner, Dr. Bernard Jackson, and Dr. Mary-Anne Vetterling (who has since retired)).  I definitely felt like I could belong here, and this feeling only blossomed from there.  I joined clubs, became active in dorm life, and reached out to as many people as possible.

I also applied for two out of the three leadership positions on campus.  My last college made me feel like an outsider, and I wanted to make sure that this did not happen to anyone at Regis, since this is the place I call home.  I wasn’t sure if I would get anything, but I applied because I really wanted these positions and I didn’t have anything to lose.  Fortunately, the higher-ups saw the potential in me and I was awarded both positions.  I am so incredibly grateful that my bosses (like James Guaragna, Mike Lynch, and Benjamin Remillard) saw the potential in me and gave me the opportunity to really contribute to the Regis community. 

Today, only one year later, I am: the Community Relations Manager for RegisLife, the Transfer Relations Orientation Coordinator, a Pride Guide, a peer and subject tutor in the Center for the Study and Teaching of Writing, a Pridestander, amongst other things. While it is busy, there is nothing more rewarding.  This involvement is not just a resume-builder or a paycheck, it has been the most meaningful experience of my time here.

I have grown exponentially since coming here.  My sociability and leadership skills have increased tenfold, mainly on account of the many trainings and professional development opportunities.  My confidence has skyrocketed.  My knowledge of the resources has aided not only incoming students, but also myself.  There is no better feeling than to welcome others into your home, which is exactly what I plan to do in the future.  I have grown this much in one year, and I simply cannot wait to see how I develop further.

So, to all of those applying for leadership positions, I wish you the best of luck in the process.  I really can’t wait to see who I’ll be working with and what you can bring to the table.  Hopefully, you will have as phenomenal an experience as I have.


Photograph credit to Aaron Riobe!

Elaine Kearney

Elaine Kearney

Hello there! I'm Elaine! I'm a double major here at Regis: Psychology and Neuroscience. I also have a minor in English. I am a very active student leader on campus. I'm incredibly passionate about literature and writing, and I am absolutely honored to be sharing that with you guys!