"Just be Yourself"

"thank you for welcoming me with open arms"

Hi Mayra! We just started winter quarter. How has the first week treated you?

It’s actually been treating me really well. I implemented this new strategy 'cause –-you know-- new year, new me. And, so, I’ve been working out. I’ve been actually reading for class, which is pretty good because, you know, if you actually read, you actually know what the professor is talking about. So yeah, it’s been treating me fairly well. Yeah.

You are a new Rotaract member this school year. How is your experience so far? How do you like it?

I really really like it. Like, I’ve always loved community service, and I think that… just seeing my friends involved in it… it was a huge indicator that I should be joining it. And then, when I actually went to the meetings and gave it a try, I really really liked what Rotaract stood for. And yeaaah. I feel like it’s a really good place to invest your time, and you do get what you put in so you do benefit from it as well.

What has your interaction with other members been like?

It’s been really good. I actually HAVE met people. I mean, it’s a few because obviously I’m not going to go around and talk to everyone. But, um, I already met some people that are really nice. I know Mariana and Genesis. We just started talking. We hit it off and we had common friends. We had A LOT of common friends, and the fact that we hadn’t actually talked till now, it was pretty funny. Yeah. And people are always really nice and willing to talk to you. And I really love cracking jokes. They are willing to laugh and I appreciate that.

You have been a very active member up until now. What have been your favorite events/ Rotaract moments?

Let me think….Some of my favorite moments were actually fundraising because I love yelling. That’s like my go to. That’s like my stress reliever. Whenever we would be fundraising, I’d yell whatever we were selling. I, like, LOVE yelling, so those are always like my favorite times. Just getting people to buy the things like “Ey. Like, I know you. You can’t act like if you don’t see me”. That made it really really enjoy-full. But, like, activities wise…because I haven’t been to a lot, so far, the most fun was last Saturday cuz we went to the beach-- to the clean-up.

Last general meeting, you were given the spotlight of the week by one of your fellow Rotaract members. How did that make you feel?

Awkward. I mean, I LOVE talking to people, but I don’t love being in front of the people. And, like, everyone was staring and then she, like, got on her knees*. I was like “OH NO. This isn’t working out. I’m sorry. I have to leave you right now”. But, I mean, it did kinda make me feel special. Especially since she had told me that, like, I made her feel welcome since the beginning. It kinda exemplifies that every little conversation we have with a stranger actually impacts someone. So, even if you don’t know someone, just say “hi” or tell him “How was your day?” It actually affects someone in the positive. It could actually make someone’s day. So, the fact that she actually told me that, it made me feel really good about myself. It makes me want to keep on communicating with others.

I heard you applied to be an intern. How did you feel during the interview?

So, I went through a little, like, hill. I was fine, and then, right before the interview, I was kinda nervous. I was really nervous. And then, at the interview, my energy had gone down because I had something going on before that interview. I was just being myself. I felt like, honestly, Rotaract does mean a lot. They are obviously going to see me around a lot for every meeting. I have to be myself. I can’t put a façade. So I was just cracking jokes, being myself, giving the answers that I thought invoke what I believe in—what I feel and what I think. So. Yeah. I was comfortable with myself…And I think that’s really important in a club. To be in that club, and to grow in that club, just be open and friendly to everyone and just be yourself, cuz at the end of the day, you have yourself and you have to love yourself. Whoever is going to be there is going to love you for you.

What motivated you to apply for a position?

What motivated me is that I found out about these positions and a lot of my friends are board members. I just really wanted to get more involved cuz I see it from a general member perspective. It’s fun, but you can only do so much—as a general member. And I really want to contribute more, and I think I can give more. Just looking at the application, I was like, “You know, let’s just do it!”

What positions did you apply for?

I applied for Finance, Community Service, and then Marketing. The reason being is that I don’t have that much experience in the Finance sector and I really want to grow in that aspect. I even asked the people in charge WHAT I would be in charge of. I really loved the idea of working in those areas, so that’s what made it stand out to me. Fundraisers too. I love setting up. I just like I said I love yelling too. And I love connecting with other students and seeing what they would like.

And Community Service because I was in Interact in high school. I was in it for like three years—my sophomore year to my senior year. It actually started my sophomore year because it was a relatively new school. I would go to the school library and go on to their page. And, like I said, I’m those people who love helping and making the days of others and putting out some service and doing something for someone else. It makes me feel really good. Community service was obviously going to be the second, since I do love that.

And then the third one was Marketing. Currently, I am a student assistant for my major department, and I work as the social media person. So I thought that went hand in hand with marketing committee. Just finding ways to target certain groups—there is another word for it—and making things seem appealing. It all comes down to how you present yourself…It really depends on how you are presenting it to everyone. It is a challenging position and that is also a reason why I chose it. I love getting challenged.

Is there anything you would like to say to a specific member or to the club in general?

Thank you for creating this space that is so welcoming and open for everyone. You can be a complete stranger day one—even if it’s week six, week seven—somebody new comes in and you treat them as if they are part of the club and they’ve been there for years. And, it’s something that is like really cherished and wish people could find more often in other places. And, so, to have this area, I’m really grateful for. And just, thank you for welcoming me with open arms.

*Kneeling while gifting the "spotlight of the week" in a mock-proposal has been adopted as a tradition during general meetings.