Unlocking self-discovery, success


I've never really thought of myself as someone who requires - or would enjoy - an entourage. So naturally, when I found out that I received a four-year scholarship to DePauw along with nine other New Yorkers, I was excited, nervous and really curious about how exactly we would connect or disconnect.
From December of our high school senior year until we left home for DePauw, we met once a week for three hours. We talked about our life goals, our successes and our failures. It was as if no topic would go undiscovered. Our vigor and enthusiasm seemed too potent for the journey we were about to embark on.
In our first meeting after arriving on campus, we had a graduation visualization exercise which we could not get through for the life of us. We bickered with each other and lashed out in frustration at our inability to picture ourselves walking across the stage toward President Casey.
It was at the end of the first week of first-year mentor activities, and we were all mentor programmed out. Our Posse mentor, Hillary Kelleher, calmly diffused the situation, and we had a relaxing meditative meeting instead.
A couple of months later, I realized that was the moment I fell in love with my Posse. We weren't interested in synthetic ways to connect. We wanted it all: love, hate, friendships, support, tough love, sibling rivalry, rejection, unconditional support and the clique-y mess that is inevitably a part of becoming a support group. 
Those mandatory weekly meetings and our regular one-on-one hour-long meetings with our mentor is what I'm convinced contributed to our being the first full Posse of ten to graduate from DePauw intact.
As we get closer to graduation, I can't help but reflect on those first couple of months we were on campus. We struggled with one another, sometimes offending one another. We tried to weave ourselves into the fabric of the DePauw community as a Posse, and yet remain true to whoever we thought we were as individuals.
It was tough. The connection between the members of my Posse was organic, chaotic, seamless and empowering. Every week, we would check in and hear the issues and accomplishments we were experiencing.
Greencastle can be a very disorienting place for a New Yorker, the dark quiet streets can seem eerie and unwelcoming, but those weekly meetings made the territory seem a bit more familiar.
As a Posse, we embraced challenging questions and held each other accountable to a maddening degree. We stood by one another, without flinching. I quickly realized that these nine other people were not my friends, they were my partners and most importantly, my family.
We've come a long way from some of us denying to hug others at the risk of seeming too affectionate, to bravely letting ourselves fall into the arms of other members as we tried to do "trust
I often think back and wonder why we couldn't get through that visualization exercise. Was it because we simply couldn't see it? Did we not think we were capable? Were we scared of failing ourselves, or each other?
So without realizing it, we've all been striving towards this moment since the day we stepped on campus: The moment at graduation when I find my Posse, and they find me.

- Guerrero is a senior from New york City majoring in Art History. She is a member of the first full Posse class to graduate from DePauw.