Everywhere we go, we represent something. We are a reflection, not an exact replica, but a slight reflection of people and things we are associated with. Following me?
Think of your parents. You’re a reflection of them. No, no, you don’t have the graying roots or mid-shin socks. (Or at least I hope you don’t.) You are an extension of them as a person because you are associated with them, and related of course, as much as you’d like to deny it.
But this can be applied to other things as well. In 8th grade, my classmates and I took a field trip to see the Nutcracker. Our teachers said, “Remember, we are representing our school, so behave yourselves!” They were right because we were all little extensions of our school. Later in the year, that’s how we were banned from the zoo: a handful of girls were caught swiping jewelry from the gift shop. It was a sad day.
Often, the actions of others can directly affect people who weren’t directly involved. UWM was recently associated with an incident that attracted national attention. It wasn’t the kind of attention we wanted. Soon I had friends saying: “Wow, UWM. Classy.” and “How can you stay at a school that condones such filth?” I had a jolly time trying to convince them that that incident doesn’t define UWM. It doesn’t define us.
So in your everyday life, just remember that you, as a UWM student, reflect the positive values that our school aims to uphold. Hold the door open for the person who is walking in behind you. Take the Pen Guy’s free pens. Be patient with the people who walk too slow (even if most of us hate them.) Don’t punch the people who walk too fast. And lastly, fight the urge to bust through the campus tour of nervous freshman, you’ve been there before. Represent your school, even in negative times. Wear a smile once in a while.