Welcome Home Roos,
I hope you all had a fantastic summer.
My name is Ida Ayalew, and I am your Student Body President. Welcome to our beloved university, welcome to The University of Missouri-Kansas City, and the home of the Kangaroos.
I want you to remember the people in your classes because you all are the generation of incoming students that will help shape the culture of UMKC. Your journey starts today. If there is one piece of advice I could offer you as someone who was a freshman three years ago (man, I feel old), it’s to take advantage of the opportunities this campus and this time in your life has to offer.
College is a time for self-exploration. It’s where you truly discover who you are outside of perhaps who you have always been expected to be or told to be. Dr. Hoard, my Black Studies professor, once told me “Ida, people in life will always hold expectations of you, but always remember the most important expectations are the ones you hold for yourself.” And so, today, I ask you to take some time in the next few days and reflect on your life. Then, envision your future. And while you are doing this reflection, create a plan with directions from how to get from A to B.
This plan doesn’t have to be perfect and it doesn’t have to be lonely. That is where I, and the administration, faculty, staff, and student leaders you’ll see later encounter will play a role in your journey. Every interaction, every relationship you create throughout your journey here will be important. These connections will help you get from point A to point B. You are the most influential person in your life. So, it is going to be important that you take the driver’s seat on this journey where making connections, taking initiative and putting in hard work will help you create a valuable and meaning college experience.
Another important component to exploration is, getting out of your comfort zone. This is your time to try new things and see the world outside of your own perspective. This campus is full of opportunities to meet new people, try new foods, learn about other cultures and even study abroad. Always be open to trying or learning something new. The opportunities are out there, but you have to take initiative and be ready for them when they present themselves. Now today, I tell you. Never tell yourself “no” because when you refuse yourself the chance, you lose the opportunity of yes. You have already taken that first important step toward success, you’re here at UMKC.
Welcome home, Roos!