Why do they walk Backward?
By: Gracie Fairfax and Kehlay Dunah
Giving an hour-long tour of Taylor’s campus sounds easy enough, but try doing it while walking backward. For junior Andrea Castaneda, walking backward is part of her daily routine as a member of Taylor’s admissions CREW.
CREW is one of Taylor’s student leadership positions. These students work with the Admissions Office to represent Taylor during prospective - student visits.
“We walk backward so that we can stay engaged with the visitors,” Andrea said. “It also allows us to talk with our visitors face to face.”
Taylor University admissions values the experience of its guests.
“I remember visiting Taylor my senior year of high school,” said Andrea. “ I spent a lot of time in admissions, and they played a large role in my decision to come to Taylor.”
How do they do it, you might ask? Going above and beyond.
CREW members go through an extensive application, hiring and training process before they ready to present the campus to visitors.
“We spent five hours training walking backward around campus and reciting information about various buildings,” Andrea said. “I was so sore the next day, but I learned more about Taylor in one afternoon than I ever knew.”
Students in admissions CREW also work alongside interns and experienced adult staff members. Their work routine includes meeting students and their families, planning overnight stays for prospective and giving campus tours.
10 Things I learned from Studying Abroad
By: Andrea Castaneda and Kehlay Dunah
1 . It’s okay to ask for help When living in a new place, there are a lot of moments of confusion. While pretending you know what you’re doing seems to work, everyone knows you can’t figure out how to work the washers when you spend 20 minutes walking in and out of the laundry room with no progress. From knowing how to ride the bus, to using their washing machines and turning on the oven with worn out degrees in celsius, I had a lot of moments where I had to let go of the old ego and let people help me.
2 . It is possible to buy groceries without speaking the language While it is harder to find the items on your list when you can’t read any labels, it is very possible to navigate the grocery store based off of familiarity of how things look and looking at the screen when you ring up your groceries to pay the bill. One perk is that you never know how many calories you are consuming so it’s easier to pretend they don’t exist.
3 . The more places you go, the more people and things you will miss The more I travel, the more I realize that you can never have everything you love in the same place. Nowhere ever feels completely like home anymore. While I missed things about America while in Lithuania, upon returning I realized how much I fell in love with the people, food, and culture of Lithuania. I have a longing for fried bread with cheese and mayo (a Lithuanian appetizer) that I never would have longed for before.
4 . Choose people You are always going to be busy, but at the end of the day you’re going to remember the time you took to do something awesome with a friend, not the night you spent trying to get ahead on homework. Everything will get done in the end. Make people a priority. They matter.
5 . Be flexible Especially when travelling, everything will not always go as planned. Embrace the inconveniences and consider it an adventure. Learn how to find humor in unfortunate circumstances.
6 . Ask locals for directions Sometimes you will get very lost. You can wander around for hours looking dumb, or you can ask a kind stranger for help. They may even have google maps on their phone to help you.
7 . Strike up conversation with strangers Through a seemingly unfortunate situation of being locked out of our hostel, I struck up a conversation with a lady from Germany while in Vienna, Austria. It was through her I found out that 3 euro opera tickets are a thing.
8 . When someone offers you food, try it My Ukrainian friends love a food that is basically just fat. I didn’t want to eat it at first, but once I finally tried it, they liked me a lot more. It showed I cared about their culture.
9 . Do things that scare you I rode public transportation by myself to volunteer with nuns one time. Considering I didn’t know the language, I was a little scared, but so glad I forced myself to go nonetheless. For some people, cooking was unchartered territory but you’ll never learn if you don’t try. Independence is important.
10 . Sharing is caring Whether it be credit cards that didn’t work or needing a certain pan, ingredient or utensil to cook with, we had each other’s backs. Sometimes my friends paid for my groceries when I couldn’t or I lent money to a friend at a thrift store. When we had an attitude that we were all in this adventure together, life was a lot less stressful and a lot more enjoyable to live. It’s always good to know someone has your back.