Two Years Later: A Look Back at my DePaul/UCWbL Journey

As I sit here in the Loop location of the UCWbL (because frankly, where else would I be?), I cannot believe that spring quarter is almost finished. Two weeks from now, I will graduate from DePaul University with a Master’s in New Media Studies, and my life will essentially begin.

Looking back at my time here, it has been nothing short of wonderful. The summer before I began my program, I had two important decisions to make. First, where would I attend graduate school? At the time, I was weighing my options between DePaul and two other universities; needless to say, I made the right choice. The second thing I had to make my mind up about however, was whether or not I would accept a position at the UCWbL.

Obviously, now, it seems like a no-brainer. The fact that I even hesitated for a moment makes me squirm. But there I was, with a friend in Los Angeles, when I got the confirmation email. And truthfully, I was not sure whether or not I wanted to take on the opportunity.  I knew graduate school would be grueling, and I had already worked in a writing center once, knowing how much it can take out of a person. In the end though, I wanted to fall into a community here at DePaul, and I could not deny that one centered around writing would be perfect for me.

Although I fell into the rhythm of my program pretty quickly and without any hiccups, it took me some time to become one with the UCWbL. I started off working only five hours a week, and even when that became 10, my only responsibility (until spring, 2013 when I joined the Web and Tech team and covered small shifts on reception) was as a peer tutor. I loved what I was doing, but I was ready to spread my wings out and explore new aspects of the UCWbL.

This year I have been a peer tutor, a writing fellow and a receptionist. I have spoken to classes and campus organizations about the in’s and out’s of the UCWbL. I have worked tables during special events such as International Writing Center Week. I have co-run/run social media accounts and been a guest on Scrawl radio. I have dedicated 20 hours a week, every quarter, to the cause; a cause that I wish I could keep on giving to forever.

Both DePaul and the UCWbL have proven to be everything I had hoped they would, and more.  I have taken a variety of captivating classes (Social Media Management, Communication and Technology and Sports Blogging, to name a few), met a tremendous amount of uniquely brilliant individuals (a round of applause for you all), and helped writers on every type of writing imaginable (including a letter to President Obama himself). I would not trade these past two years for anything. And am grateful for the fact that I will still be with the UCWbL this summer.

So thank you DePaul and the UCWbL, for providing me with a chapter of my life I will always cherish. It is a shame time has gone by so fast, but here is to bigger and better things. And who knows, perhaps those things will land me right where I started. Like they say, things tend to come full circle…

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Lauri Dietz says:

    Allana–Thank you so much for your contributions to the UCWbL! You have been an invaluable peer to the writers you’ve worked with, the fellow UCWbLers you’ve helped train and mentor, and the broader community of writers you engaged with through dynamic and quality content on the UCWbL’s social media. It’s been a pleasure working with you.

    The message I really took from your blog post is that finding a community aligned with our personal or professional goals can help each of us succeed and can inspire us to contribute in ways we couldn’t imagine at the onset. And, it’s those contributions that create legacies–the gifts and influences that continue even after we’re gone. I’m very appreciative of the legacy you are leaving the UCWbL.

    I’m so excited to see what comes next for you!