I’m almost six months into the program, and I finally figured out my “niche” in the Second-Year Transformational Experience Program, STEP. I am here to share how this experience truly has transformed me.
All along this journey, I was so focused on the end goal of completing a thorough project that I was blind to the opportunities STEP presented me in the moment. I was pushing myself over the edge in attempts to create a project that would be a perfect fit for my career, profound to the university and yet another résumé builder. Where was the passion in what I looked to do? I found this project to be more of a hardship than anything, and that is not what the university meant it to be.
When I had my “ah-ha” moment, as I later described to my cohort, it was so simple — it was in front of me this entire time. The six pillars of STEP: leadership, study abroad, service-learning, research, internship and creative endeavor, were presented to us students from the get-go, not only to create a project, but to create ourselves in the process. During my time as a STEP participant, without intending to, I have especially been able to pursue the element of leadership. STEP provided me the opportunity to stand before faculty members, my peers and surprisingly enough, myself, and lead in intellectual discussions and pursuance in bettering ourselves as knowledge-craving individuals. Numerous times, I sat down for project discussions with faculty members, which eventually developed into ideas on how to lead both students and faculty of the STEP community in a direction to better the program. Little did I know those discussions slowly became friendship opportunities, and discussions themselves soon became personal conversations.