As part of the Division of Student Affairs’ initiative for Diversity and Inclusion, we at I Am Rutgers have started the #RUIDProject to highlight the many diverse identities, experiences, and reflections of the Rutgers student body. Students featured in this project share how they choose to identify themselves and how Rutgers either helps them express their identity or has helped shape their identity. If you would like to be featured in this project, share a picture of yourself and how you choose to identify using the hashtag #RUIDProject on Instagram or contact us via email.
Photography by Pat Nadolski
For many, the moon is simply a gray sphere in the sky. It’s expected to appear each night and, for the most part, it’s nothing spectacular; the sight of it is not awe inspiring like the sunrise or sunset. However, what many do not recognize is that the moon does many “behind the scene” jobs that ensure the seemingly insignificant things we experience on Earth every day remain intact. This is why the moon is my favorite piece of nature. It fascinates me because my identity and role in the world are much like what the moon does for the earth. Most of the time you will not find me being the star of a show. I usually stray from the limelight (unless it’s Broadway karaoke). One of my mottos is that love conquers all and that many of the injustices we see in the world can only be fixed if each person operates out of a true and pure love. For me, that means starting with the little things and knowing that those little, and often unnoticed, things will actually make immeasurable differences.
At Rutgers, I love getting involved in student organizations and have seen much of my growth and learning come from the experiences I have had outside the classroom. I was chosen to be a site leader for the first-year Alternative Breaks community service trip to Washington D.C, and worked on the Leadership Team for New Student Orientation. The enriching opportunities have allowed me to help other amazing students grow and change before my eyes and tap into the potential within them.
Working at Rutgers in various Student Affairs organizations has helped me understand that my validation does not need to come from awards or standing ovations, but that my heart smiles whenever I help someone in need or inspire others to push themselves. I believe that I have changed the world when a parent tells me that because of the bus tour I gave their student as a Scarlet Ambassador, their student feels like they can make Rutgers their home. When you make a difference, even if it’s small, and even if you are not the star, it is changing the world. Eventually, because of the uplifting words you use, the smile you give, or the friend you are to someone, they will pass it down and goodness will be spread. That is how I have shared myself with Rutgers and I know that the differences I have made have helped Rutgers operate much like the moon does for the sun.
I do not define myself as the sun, but that does not mean that I am not full of light. I see the potential for greatness and love in everyone. While I may not grab everyone’s attention like the sun’s rays in the middle of the day, you can find me reflecting other’s lights and reminding everyone just how awesome, powerful, and bright they are.