Sweet orange and vanilla. I won’t forget these scents – they saturated my advisor’s
office as I sat and had a complete mental breakdown. I was overloaded on
responsibilities and didn’t know what to do. But Tyler sat. He listened. He helped me
clarify my thinking. He helped me do everything I didn’t think I could do, because
that’s just what Tyler is capable of.|
Tyler has been present in all the right ways during the month of February. Towards
the beginning of the month for Regional Business Conference, Tyler adapted himself
and his plans to account for delays and various issues that he faced. When the
conference was pushed back an entire day and the only option we had was
ZoomChat, Tyler bought everyone Sonic corndogs and slushies so that we were all
happy to be present at the virtual meeting.
During the conference, he always was the first to offer to take pictures, kept us
motivated with his sass, and constantly encouraged us to participate and think
critically about the activities each day. When one of us did well, Tyler made sure to
reaffirm it, and when we made a mistake in boardroom, he made sure we knew it was
okay and encouraged us to still participate. At the end of the conference, he asked
each one of us what we learned and how we can apply it to our own host institution.
Then, he congratulated us for our hard work and participation even as the RBC
schedule changed. In Tyler’s presence, I feel appreciated and recognized – and I am
surely encouraged to do more and be better in the future.
The Friday of conference turned out to be a very stressful day for many WashU
sophomores and juniors, as RA job decisions were being released throughout the
day. A few of the applicants were coming along to RBC. I found out days after the
conference that Tyler had individually offered a phone call to each RHA and NRHH
member who applied. He made sure that if anyone who applied was feeling nervous
or on-edge because of the decision that he would gladly pull over the van and give
them a call. He gave the same offer to the students attending RBC. Even when he
was swamped with responsibility, Tyler still offered emotional support to his
students, because he understands the stress that students feel.
Back at home, Tyler is an active participant in RHA and NRHH ordeals. He creates the
space for us to run our organizations while providing support wherever and whenever
it is needed. He comes through to GBMs, board meetings, and 1:1s and is fully
present at each. At our most recent NRHH GBM, Tyler helped us make cards for
hospitalized children along with the rest of the members. He understands that he is
just as much of a role model as the executive board.
Tyler’s participation in and care for student lives never backs down. When he knows
I’m having a terrible day, he will text me multiple times throughout to check in. He
also stops in on 1:1s with other advisors even though he’s not required to. And when I
couldn’t make a GBM for our RHA, he texted me to make sure I was okay. He ensures
that each of his students is involved and cared for.
So now I sit and patiently wait for the aromatherapy machine and scents I ordered
from Amazon. Those sweet orange and vanilla scents will remind me to take a
moment to breathe, to center myself, and to know that everything will be alright.
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