I hate goodbyes.
No, seriously, I hate goodbyes.
I’m the worst at them.
Not in the “I leave without saying goodbye to anyone so it’s easier” way, but in the “I dwell on and almost relish in the despair” type way. So of course I’ve done a lot of retrospection and introspection in the past year. Everything is a “last.”
My last football game.
My last campus tour.
My last time to order a No. 15 smoothie from the Rec. (OK, that last one doesn’t happen that often. Maybe it only happened once. But it’s still a “last,” and that makes me sad.)
However, I believe many of the things I’ve experienced and learned while at TCU will not be a “last,” but rather an integral part of the rest of my life. TCU truly changed and shaped me. I am certain that without it I would be quite different. Although I’m only here for four years, I know that the impact TCU has had on me will last a lifetime.
As a school should, TCU has taught me a great deal, but not all new knowledge has been purely academic. One of the most important things I’ve learned has been my style of leadership.
I’m so grateful for the fact that TCU has given me many opportunities to push myself and grow, and learn more about myself in the process. I feel like no other school could do such a great job of letting its students explore their own strengths and build upon them.
Through organizations that I’ve been involved with I’ve found that the part of leadership I value most is mentorship.
Everything from SGA’s Frog Aides to orientation staff has shown me that one of the biggest rewards in life is seeing someone else develop at least a little because of you. I hope that I have been able to impact someone else’s life by making them feel happier, more comfortable, more capable and by being there for them to empower and push them to do more than they thought possible.
This is what I hope my legacy will be.
I also hope to be able to carry on this legacy in my graduate life. I want to take all that I’ve learned at TCU (academic or not) with me. In this way, TCU will never be a “last,” but a constant part of my life. I may never again step foot in The Main – I mean, Market Square – but at least I’ll never have to say goodbye to the part of me that TCU helped shape and form.
Traci Clayton is a senior strategic communication major from Amarillo.