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Leadership Opportunities in My First Year: Reflections from Oxford

Raquel is a second-year student at Oxford College of Emory University. Here, she shares about her transition into college, what she’s valued most on campus, and what she thinks make the Oxford student community so unique.
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One of the trademarks of Oxford College is the opportunity it provides its students to develop into leaders from their very first semester on campus. One of my favorite parts of life at Oxford, without a doubt, are those leadership opportunities.

As a first-year student, I was afforded the opportunity to be a campus life leader through my experience as a Peer Assistance Leader (PAL). I led an Orientation Group of eighteen first-year students last summer. Additionally, I’ve been an academic leader through the Supplemental Instructor (SI) Program, where I’m responsible for leading study sessions with incoming first-year students in Political Science 101.

Before coming to Oxford, I felt I was a multi-faceted leader. I also knew that I wanted to continue to grow in my leadership skills and not feel restricted to only one area or type of leadership. Being a PAL has allowed me to express the pride and love I have for Oxford and the Emory University community while also acting as a resource to new students. One of my favorite aspects about being a PAL is how as a sophomore leader, I will be able to contribute to other student’s journeys of finding their niche in this community. This has been significant in the lives of other students but also an extremely rewarding one for me as well. This experience as a whole has contributed to me become a well-rounded leader.

As a member of the Supplemental Instructor Program, I’ve been able to contribute to the Oxford community in a different sense. While being a PAL capitalized on my ability to make others feel a sense of belonging, being a Supplemental Instructor allowed me to contribute to other’s sense of intellectual achievement. Cultivating a learning environment for others has helped me become a better facilitator and helped me to appreciate the dedication to academics and drive that my peers have.

Personally, I’ve been constantly amazed by the level of support I receive from my peers and the faculty at Oxford. Even though Oxford is an extremely high-achieving environment, the sense of community support and genuine care for one another is strong. I’ve never felt a lack of encouragement,or motivation from my peers to pursue talents I may have. No matter where I end up, I know that the skills I’ve gained at Oxford will not only make me a better student, but a better person.

RaquelSolla_PortraitRaquel Solla, 17OX, 19C
Political Science
Windsor, CT



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