Being a tour guide at Trinity College has been an extremely rewarding experience, in more ways then one. Throughout middle school and high school, I had always hoped to be an ambassador for my school but never mustered up the courage to apply for the position. During high school, when I was touring the country with my mom, seeing school after school, it was always the tour guide that either made or broke my vision of the school. I used the tour guide to evaluate the school, knowing that they had picked this specific person to represent their institution. My tour guide at Trinity did a phenomenal job, and was one of the main reasons I decided to attend Trinity. After this positive experience, I decided that I would apply.
Public speaking has always frightened me, but I knew that as a tour guide, I could sharpen my public speaking skills, and this excited me. When I talk in front of large crowds, I tend to get nervous, lose my train of thought, and become a little jittery. I recognized that this was my weakness and wanted to overcome this fear. I know that being able to talk to large groups of people is a life skill that will be relevant in anything I decide to do later on in life. I found that as a tour guide, I was eased into the process. I began by only shadowing tours, then moved into giving tours with a veteran tour guide, and finally led my own tours. As I had anticipated, being a tour guide did help me gain the self-confidence to talk in front of others.
One aspect of this program that I had not anticipated gaining skills in was being able to quickly think on my feet. As a tour guide, you represent the college. On tours, parents are always asking questions about the social life on campus, the surrounding community and neighborhood, and so on. A lot of time, we are not given a written answer on how to answer their questions. Being able to make up an appropriate answer on the spot, has helped me not only better myself as a tour guide but think more swiftly in stressful situations.
By simply walking around campus, showing off my great school, I have acquired useful, lifelong skills.