Posted by Aurora University on February 9, 2012
By David Ferrel, AU ’12
Every time I am asked, “Why did you choose Aurora University as your college?” I answer, “Because it felt right.”
As a first-generation college student, I was unfamiliar with the process of searching and applying for scholarships, and I knew very little about college classes or campus life. When I started my first year of college, I felt lost. It was not until I went to my first Latin American Student Organization (LASO) meeting that I finally realized that AU was the place I needed to be.
Dr. Eva Serrano, Assistant Professor and LASO advisor, was key in my development as a student-leader. During that first LASO meeting, I still remember how Dr. Serrano remembered me from AU4U: First-Year Registration & Orientation and Welcome Week in the summer. I was pleasantly surprised when she asked about my parents and if I was enjoying my experience at AU.
As the meeting went on, I felt differently about being in college. The older members of LASO were very welcoming and made the atmosphere feel more like a family reunion than a meeting. It would be in LASO that I would end up meeting most of my friends and being pushed out of my comfort zone to get more involved on campus.
During my first semester, there was not a single meeting I missed; this helped me make positive connections at AU. One LASO member in particular, Lauren Lawson, inspired me to pursue a path of leadership. Lauren, at the time a sophomore and the vice president of the Aurora University Student Association (AUSA), helped me realize that when you work every day to make your dreams a reality, there is nothing that can stop you from accomplishing your goals.
After talking to Lauren at a couple of meetings, I found myself very interested in being part of AUSA so that I could act as the voice of the student body to the administration of the university. Lauren always spoke with such confidence and did so much for the students at AU that I wanted to be like her one day and follow in her footsteps.
During my sophomore year, I became a senator of AUSA. I became treasurer the following year, taking on the huge responsibility of allocating money for all of the student organizations on campus. Even despite that pressure, I enjoyed the job a lot and it helped me move one step closer to my goal of becoming AUSA president, as which I now serve.
AUSA is not only a model organization on campus; we have a great deal of responsibility to the student body and that gives me the passion to speak for our students when it comes to meeting their needs on and off campus. As the president of AUSA, I represent all of the students at the university and, although it may seem like a lot to handle, I have enjoyed getting involved with this organization.
From being a shy first-year student who sat in the back of every class to avoid being asked questions, I have grown to be a man of confidence willing to take any challenge that comes my way and always striving to do my best. Professors, staff and students across campus have helped me learn in- and outside of the classroom, but I attribute many of my experiences in college to my decision to get involved. And, like Dr. Serrano says, I have pushed myself to “step out of my comfort zone.” I hope that in my position now, I can be of inspiration to future students at AU, just like I found inspiration in people like Lauren Lawson and Dr. Serrano.
David Ferrel is a senior business administration and business and commerce major from Aurora, Ill.