To the Creatives of Associated Students Incorporated (ASI) — Past, Present and Future:
I hope to follow in the footsteps of the greats who’ve left ASI and made a difference. I hope to redefine success as something that not only benefits whoever achieves it, but as something that makes the rest of this world a better place to live—a place where we can freely hope, dream and thrive. I hope to get out there and make someone feel like they matter. I have full confidence that I’ll achieve my goals—maybe more—and when I do, you can rest assured that I owe that victory to you.
You see, I can’t say I would’ve had this same confidence when I first started college three years ago. I had little faith in myself and my capabilities, if any at all. Having the privilege of being invited to join the team at ASI’s Marketing, Design and Public Relations (MDPR) department, formerly known as Gas Creative Group, was truly a game-changer for me. Back then, I was just barely on the cusp of discovering who I was (and it definitely wasn’t the mechanical engineer my mother hoped I would become). No, I am a writer, and a passionate one at that.
But the passion I’ve planted, nurtured and grown for the past three years would still be a useless seed without the amazing individuals who took it upon themselves to help me water it—you. I found ASI at a time when I had no idea who I was, was going to be or even wanted to be. All I can really tell you is that I knew I wanted to write, and for once in my life, that was finally enough. You didn’t ask me for a plan, you didn’t prod for answers, you didn’t judge me for never knowing (and arguably, still not really knowing because let’s be real, when will I ever know?). You welcomed me with open arms because you understood what it was like to want nothing but the world to see the very core of your soul: your passion.
I may not have known you, gotten to know you or ever even met you, but I can tell you exactly who you are. You are a force to be reckoned with—someone who may face failure but will never back down because your creativity won’t allow your work to be stifled. You are someone who knows that tomorrow is always a new day to be better because you are no stranger to the happiness that will inevitably follow pain, rejection and criticism. You are someone who knows compassion because you’ve dealt with people telling you “you can’t do it” your entire life. You are the hardest worker you know because at the end of the day, you know you have to work twice as hard to get people to take you and your work seriously. Again, you are a force to be reckoned with—someone who will change the world.
And I am too, thanks to you. The people who’ve paved the way for me, the people I’ve worked with and the people who will come to ASI long after I’m gone are the same people who’ve inspired me to new heights. We are a new generation, the one that will be inheriting the daunting responsibility of taking care of this planet next, and you are the ones who’ve made me feel like I belong and that I can contribute to that cause. Standing here with you, I’ve never felt like I was out of place or unnecessary. Standing here with you, I’ve never felt more at home than anywhere else but right here.
As I leave ASI and embark on a journey of excitement, opportunity and improvement, I’ll carry with me the memories of desperate coffee runs, late nights at Midnight Madness, insane potlucks, silly mannequin challenges, hundreds of bags of Hot Cheetos, endless amounts of people asking me how they should spin the wheel and so much more. But if there’s one thing I’ll remember most from my time, here at ASI, it’s the diversity I’ve experienced. Because so many of you come from different walks of life, I’ve learned that it’s OK to expect respect wherever I go in the future. The women here are some of the strongest, smartest and kindest I’ve met; the men some of the most respectful, clever and enduring, and thanks to you, I know exactly what I aspire to be like and how I should be treated in future workplaces.
To the past creatives of ASI, thank you for laying a foundation so strong, I can’t imagine it ever weakening. To the future creatives of ASI, I hope you find yourself the way I did here and I hope you learn to nurture and grow your passion with unlimited ambition. And finally, to the present creatives of ASI, thank you for believing in me and taking a chance on the inexperienced, insecure girl I was almost three years ago, and thank you for helping mold me into someone who might actually make a difference someday. We will always be family.