UW Dream Project

Coming to a Close: Part 1

photo

By Amrita Heer, Dream Project AmeriCorps member

It was Monday, October 3rd, 2011 at 3:30pm in Kane 130. I had no idea, sitting in a room with 500 other incredible undergrads, that I would fall in love with everything that I was being introduced to that day. I had no idea that in a year, I would eat, sleep and breathe everything this program is.

This year has been a whirlwind of too many emotions and stories to keep track of. And as we slow down to end our last few weeks here, let me tell you about the happiest 10 months of my life.

I didn’t know what to expect in August: barely knowing Yen, sitting at our desks, waiting for any mentor to walk in the office so we could “support” them. Fast forward to January, with a grand event under our belts and in the middle of a huge transition period for the program; I barely had a minute to breathe. Between Yen and I becoming partners in crime and morphing into Yemrita, attending 3 visits and calling this place home, I knew this was already the best year yet. And now here I am, denying the fact that I am 30ish days away from being done with the Dream Project and trying to think of everything I’ve learned while I’ve been here:

  1. I’m almost a master at inDesign.

  2. Sorting and stacking food for visits is a great workout.

  3. S’mores cookies will make anyone love me.

  4. Office/fun hours are still the best thing ever.

  5. Supporting someone is a lot harder than I thought but I’m getting there.

  6. It’s really hard to clip on walkie talkies when you’re wearing tights.

  7. When Mahmoud at the copy center swears at me, it means he loves me.

  8. I will always critically analyze paper types and fonts thanks to Matt Harris.

  9. It’s very possible to become a videographer in 24 hours.

  10. Having a mentee smile when they see you is one of the best feelings ever.

  11. Washing UCARs is great therapy.

  12. Macklemore is really bad at tweeting back and I’m sad “Hula Hoop Girl” didn’t catch on.

  13. I should never expect the DPC to stay clean for more than 2 hours.

  14. Nicole’s massages may hurt but they are so worth the pain.

  15. The mentors in the program are the best people I have ever met.

  16. If I had to write a real list of everything I’ve learned, all the ink in a pen would run out.

  17. I love my job more than I could ever convey in words.

I will miss all of this so much. I’ll miss the singing and dancing in the DPC to R&B slow jams or One Direction. I’ll miss scolding everyone who wouldn’t eat lunch but would eat all of the fruit snacks. I’ll miss discussing love and life with Yen. I’ll miss finding cute notes on my computer and awkward hacks on my Facebook. I’ll miss every HSL, Steering, Planning, Staff and event meeting I got to go to. I’ll miss going to a visit almost every day and meeting incredible high school students who will forever be a part of me. I’ll miss all the mentors who became my best friends and who made my life just so perfect.

This was one of the most difficult pieces I’ve ever had to write.

For anyone reading this, I just want to say thank you. In some way, I know you’ve contributed to my happiness and I couldn’t be more grateful. There were days I would go home with my cheeks hurting from smiling and laughing so much. And you were a part of that. I’ve learned so much from all of you and the work you do in this program is incredibly inspiring. I’ve had a blast spending time with you all. My heart hurts just thinking about leaving but I know that I am one lucky duck for having this opportunity. I love the Dream Project and you so very much.

P.S. If there is ever a moment that you need someone to talk to, I’m always here. AmeriCorps or not, I want to always be someone you can go to. Coffee’s on me.

P.P.S. If you have One Direction tickets and are looking for an extra person, I’m totally free that day.