My first weeks at Mills back in the fall of 2009 were filled with emotion. I left a career as a senior technical writer because my workplace had begun to unravel–jobs were being eliminated or sent abroad. I felt I no longer felt that I wanted to be a part of what was happening. A co-worker suggested I look at Mills to complete my bachelor’s degree. After reading the words, “Remember who you are and what you represent” on the Mills website, I was transformed. Several weeks later I was accepted by Mills as a junior and I began my preparations to leave the working world.
I live off campus and commute 25 miles one way. One of the toughest things for me as a resumer student is making time for those at home and managing all the other tasks it takes to keep a home running. I’ve made friends with a handful of students who are also resumers and many of them have voiced concern about this. Sharing study strategies with them has been tremendously helpful.
I have really enjoyed learning from professors and my classmates, including those who know me and those who do not. For me, Mills classes are refreshing as they challenge me to think and grow. At Mills, I feel so fortunate to have professors who know me by first name and are available almost always. I’ve recently been meeting with Professor Cady who has been helping me shape my senior thesis idea for next semester.
Like others, I had no clue what social justice meant when I entered Mills. The first time I encountered the phrase, I went to librarian Michael Beller and asked him to explain it. He said, “It’s leveling the playing field.” He said it so simply and so well. Recently I went to an Oakland middle school for research on a project for my “Intro to Public Radio Reporting” class taught by Holly Kernan. There, the staff and principal explained how they have implemented gender-based math and science classes. I was particularly interested in this topic and wholeheartedly support its concept.
I’ve called the San Francisco Bay Area “home” all my life. I am used to the marine west coast climate and where I live there’s a constant breeze in the afternoon. I call it “natural air conditioning.” It happens whenever California’s central valley heats up. That heat pulls in the cool air from the ocean through the natural opening of the bay. I always miss the bay breezes when I am away.
I am loving my Mills experience and as a senior realizing my time at Mills is getting shorter. It has truly been an extraordinary experience and best decision of my life. I look forward to a new career and never forgetting the words that brought me here, “Remember who you are and what you represent.” I am confident my classes at Mills will inform my future.