This weekend, Summerfuel at Tufts University said goodbye to many students and staff. Resident Assistant (RA) Nodir spoke to RA Alayna, who had a chance to reflect on her Summerfuel experience from start to finish.
RA Nodir: Hi there, hello, can you tell me a little about who you are and where you are from?
RA Alayna: Hi, yeah, so I’m Alayna, I’m originally from St. Louis, Missouri. I graduated from Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis. Or, IUPUI for short, in Indianapolis, Indiana. I graduated in 2017 and I’ve been working a few jobs, I want to get into higher ed… Which led me to applying for Summerfuel, to get that experience in pre-college programs, and working with students, and transitioning to a job with higher education.
N: So, Alayna, what prompted you to come to this program and to work for this program?
A: One of my goals is to work in higher education, with international students. And I would get to see Boston. I’d never been to Massachusetts before; it was kind of a change of pace, a change of scenery. So now I’m here.
N: So, what did you most enjoy about Summerfuel? What is your favorite memory?
A: I definitely enjoyed getting to know my residents and RA staff. Favorite memory? Oh gosh…
N: Take your time, don’t worry.
A: Just kind of laughing about random things, going back and forth with staff, talking to new students, hearing about their day and their program, what they’re learning. I don’t know, they’re just so amazing, and I know that they’re going to make big changes in the world.
N: Was there an excursion you really liked?
A: Out of the ones I went on, I really liked the Kennedy Institute. I went with my International Relations students. It was nice hearing what they got out of it, the decisions politicians make when they’re passing bills…
N: Is there anything that you feel your students taught you?
A: One thing that sticks out to me in particular, is how one of my students said she didn’t have a goal in mind for what she was becoming in international relations. She was going in to see how far she can go, just to experience, and I thought it was interesting. I know a lot of college advising is picking a specific major and profession is making steps to go there, instead of plotting up steps of what you want to do and figuring it out along the way.
N: We had staff of many different backgrounds. Is there anything you would say you learned from them, or maybe that you really enjoyed doing with them? What do you take away from here?
A: I don’t know, just being able to get to know people, where they’re going. I was really surprised, with all the international experience people had before coming here. One of my favorite conversations was just learning more about what people were studying, and their favorite memories while working with students. Or studying abroad, just learning more about what they did and love.
N: Is there anything else you would like to share?
A: I definitely would say, if I could have the same people and the same experience it is definitely something that I would do again.