Over winter break, I went home to San Francisco exhausted, happy, and full of stories. One day, I joined a few friends to watch the sunset over the ocean on Mt Tamalpais. We used to do this almost every weekend in high school, so it has become a tradition when we all come home from school. There is something about watching the sun fall beneath the NorCal waves that relaxes and inspires at the same time. It invites conversation, love, and passion among the people you are with. The cool ocean breeze necessitates some serious cuddling, which also brings people closer together, literally. My friends and I sat on the mountain and saw the bay beneath us gradually turn darker and darker, and the sky take on the colours of the rainbow. I will say it for the rest of my time on Earth: there is nothing like a Northern California coastal sunset. As I put on another fleece and curled a blanket around me, my friends and I talked about our time since we last saw each other. We caught up on each other’s love lives, family, and friend gossip. We asked questions about each other’s experience over the semester to add to the imaginary stories we have been forming in our heads for three years of what each other’s University lives look like. I talked about my classes, my friends, my partner, and my job. When I started talking about my job as a Quest student ambassador, I received a couple responses: “So you have to ‘sell’ Quest?” and “Do you just smile and lie that Quest is the best?”.
I feel lucky to say that I do not have to lie for my job. When I applied to be an ambassador, I went into the application with a high personal value on my transparency, honesty, and my sad lack of ability to lie. I did not want to have this job if it meant, in any way, being dishonest about how I felt about this school.
“But, how can you be honest when you are trying to convince people to come to your school?”
Well, frankly, I think the best way to convince someone, is to be honest. I love my school. It is not perfect, (nowhere is), but it is the best decision I have ever made. Quest is my home, and I love my life here so much that last summer I counted down the days to come back to class. Almost every class I have had has been phenomenal and life changing; the tutors are passionate and love committing every second they have to students; and the community is interesting, kind, and intelligent. Quest has its flaws—that I openly talk about in my tours (as much as is appropriate of course)—but when I speak about Quest, I am able to honestly talk about how much I truly love this place and feel grateful every day. I wake up to the view of snow topped mountains and the sound of my incredible roommates making yummy breakfast. I can put on any outfit I want, knowing that in my cute, small community, no one really cares at all (I have gone to class in a onesie before). I can go to class and say “hi” to at least five people that I know on the way. In class, I feel like a sponge, soaking up information and taking furious notes. I can spend my class break staring out at the mountains that surround the school (if there is not fog!). I can go to bed surrounded by people who I love, and who love me. What could be better? Of course, I receive difficult questions for my job, and language and the way you say things is very important when giving tours. But no, I do not have to lie for my job, and feel very lucky for that. Quest is my home, and I am so grateful <3