Spending a morning with a group of wide-eyed high school students may not be on every college student’s bucket list, but I couldn’t think of a better way to start my day.

Last Wednesday I led a tour of Colby for a group of 15 high school juniors from Mt. Abrams High School, a small school in Western Maine.  The students had traveled over an hour to get to Waterville, but despite the early morning, frost-heave heavy bus ride, the group was wide awake and eager to walk around in the chilly Maine morning.

From asking critical questions about the quality of the dining hall food and the variety of dorming options to more involved questions about Colby’s academic programs and study abroad opportunities, the students on my tour were obviously eager to figure out their futures. Leading this group of respectful and hilarious students around Colby’s beautiful—though frigid—campus reminded me why I decided to pursue a degree in education.

As a tour guide for Maine Aspirations, my goal is inform Maine middle and high school students about the benefits of pursuing higher education and the opportunities that a college degree can provide.  As a native Mainer, I know how easy it is for students to simply give up on education after high school, opting to stay in their home towns rather than try new things simply because they are unaware of the opportunities that lie beyond town, county, and even state lines. Watching the eyes of the students on my tour light up at the thought of spending a semester in London or studying in Belize for Jan Plan made me realize that, as a tour guide and a future teacher, sometimes planting the smallest seeds of desire in young students minds is enough to help them change their futures.

-Written by Morgan Rublee ’14