College can be a big, scary place for incoming freshman. Leaving their high school routine and transitioning to a campus with thousands of people has the potential to be intimidating. I get it, I was in those shoes less than a year ago. I am from Nicholasville, KY, which is outside of Lexington. I was very familiar with DanceBlue throughout my four years in high school simply because of how close I lived near UK’s campus. As a sophomore in high school, we had our first Mini Marathon and soon after, I realized I caught the DanceBlue bug. I poured myself into our Mini Marathon and then had the privilege to serve as my high school’s executive chair my senior year. I had a friend who reached out and encouraged me to apply for the University of Kentucky’s DanceBlue Morale Committee after she saw how passionate I was about DanceBlue. I took her advice, applied, and shockingly, got the position on Morale committee as an incoming freshman. I had no idea what kind of effect this would have on me during my first year of college.
Tabling at seeBlueU was my first experience being on committee. Every summer, the University of Kentucky hosts seeBlueU, which is the incoming freshman orientation. This spans across four weeks where incoming students come to plan the classes they are going to take, familiarize where they are going to live, and what they are going to get involved in. At orientation, there are tables set up throughout the Bill Gatton Student Center that students and their parents can find out essentially any information about campus and its organizations. Every summer, DanceBlue sets up a table to share with incoming students the mission and message of DanceBlue. When I arrived, I was greeted with two smiling faces from other committee members. I didn’t know either one of them, but they were immediately welcoming and helped me get prepared before the rush of students and their families came through. After spending a couple short hours with these two girls, I knew that DanceBlue was an organization that creates a community of students on campus that have a burning passion to help others, all while overcoming huge obstacles for the kids and their families. From that day forward, I knew I would have a family within DanceBlue Committee.
Towards the beginning of the fall semester, we had our first Morale Committee meeting and I was terrified. I was hardly 18 years old walking into a room with 49 other college kids I had never seen in my life. However, throughout the year, I developed friendships that were unlike any other relationships I have had before. These friendships are so unique to me because of the time we all spend together participating in events For the Kids. These include Mini Marathons which can range from 2-12 hours, weekly meetings, and work days leading up to the 24-hour Marathon. To some, this might sound like a heavy time commitment. To us, this is time we get to spend together dedicated towards helping the kids, and having a blast while doing it.
I believe the reason for having such a strong connection between us is that we are all brought together for a similar cause and we put everything into it while leaning on each other throughout the year. We recognize that being on DanceBlue committee is a privilege and it is evident in the hard work and sacrifices made in our daily lives. At the end of the day, we know that the work put in is going to benefit so many families in need, and that is reason we do what we do.