Kailyn Castro – University of Missouri
It’s something that not everybody wants to do? It’s going to be a challenge? It’s going to help me grow as a person? Sign me up. I’ve always been the one in a group of friends to enjoy the awkward moments or go up to a complete stranger and tell him my friend thinks he’s cute. After being called over to an info by my student manager, Caleb Rich, I knew Southwestern Advantage was something I was going to be a part of. Little did I know it would make a huge difference in the trajectory my life was going.
As a freshman, originally from Texas attending the University of Missouri, I was exposed to this foreign concept called winter. It is not something I enjoyed in the least bit. I was used to having one snow day a year, school being shut down, and then the weather returning to 50 degrees the following day. I was homesick from the warm and friendly demeanor of everyone who is a Texan, I was not enjoying the sorority I had joined, and my Political Science classes that I was taking to one day go to law school were boring me. I had pretty much had it with school in the Midwest and was ready to transfer back to a school in Texas.
I came to school in Missouri to get away from all I had ever known, but as soon as I hit a bump in the road, I was ready to throw in the towel and go running back to what was comfortable. At my first follow-up interview with Caleb, I remember asking him if this was something I could do if I transferred schools. He told me that it was, but that after being a part of the Missouri group I probably wouldn’t want to transfer. I knew I wanted to be a part of Southwestern and I knew I wanted to go back home to Texas. When I was selected I knew I would finish the summer out and then go back to the University of Texas, where I was waiting to be accepted as a transfer student.
It was about four weeks into the summer, working in Saratoga Springs, New York when I realized I was absolutely loving my roommate and the people I had met and were getting to know in my organization. I decided I would be staying at the University of Missouri. Then, a few weeks later I realized I loved my job and what I did. I loved sitting down with families all day, every day, getting to know them, helping them with their children’s education, and just seeing how other people live. Southwestern was the right choice for me.
Every day was a challenge, I cried a lot, but it was exactly what I needed to tell me where I was suppose to be at that point in my life. Committing to the summer taught me to love where I am at, not just where I went to school but wherever I am in life. It taught me to appreciate my family and friends much more than I ever had before and realize that the hardest things for us are the ones that will bring us the biggest rewards. The success principles I have learned with this company are more valuable than the money I gained and will gain in future summers.
I didn’t finish my first summer as a top first year. I actually just barely made it on the Sizzler trip. I left the summer wishing I had worked a little bit harder, but knowing that I had worked a lot harder than I would have if I had done anything else with my summer. I gained a lot of knowledge and experience from my first summer and look forward to the following summers I will work with this company. I look forward to pushing myself, getting uncomfortable and growing as a person. I now know that “throwing in the towel” is never the answer, moving forward no matter what, will be the better option. Southwestern has provided me with friends that are goal-oriented and motivated to do something big in life, that I probably would not have met otherwise. It has aided me in better realizing what I want out of my future and the kind of people I want to share it with. Southwestern put into perspective that everything I do in life now is affecting the person I will someday be.
“The person you are going to be, you are now becoming.”