Finding my “thing” at Peddie

As a tour guide, Karly Bullock '19 (left) was one of Peddie's biggest cheerleaders. Here, she shares her thoughts about becoming a Peddie tour guide.

When I entered high school, I didn’t feel like I had quite found my “thing”- the thing that I loved to do no matter what kind of mood I was in, the thing that pushed me to be my best self, the thing that gave me confidence and the thing that I was good at and proud of. 
 
During my first Activities Fair at Peddie, I walked around in pursuit of my “thing.” I signed up to join Yearbook, the Terrapin Club, and lastly, the Tour Guide program. Those who knew me back in my elementary and middle school days would describe me as a shy student. I had my close group of friends, but I didn’t branch out any further than necessary. 

"I would never have imagined that being a tour guide would turn out to be my 'thing,' but being a part of the program gave me the confidence that I needed during my four years of high school."

To put my name down to be a tour guide was a big deal. A week before the Activities Fair, I met with my advisor, who told me to make sure I signed up for at least three clubs. She advised that it was okay if I didn’t stick with those three specific activities, but that it would be good to have my name down and join some email lists. Her advice ran through my head as I received an email from the Admissions Tour Guide coordinator. 

As soon as I read that I had been scheduled for a training tour with a senior, I panicked.

My parents and my advisor were eventually able to convince me that there was no harm in showing up for training. After two training sessions, one training tour, and one opportunity to give a tour to an experienced tour guide, I felt as prepared as a first-semester new student could possibly feel. However, that confidence melted away when the admission office scheduled me to give a tour with an actual prospective student and family the following week. 

Tour de Force: Tour guides play a pivotal role in the guest experience, say Peddie’s admission team.

During those seven days, I went through every emotion possible. I was terrified. How could I, a first-year student who barely knew how to get to each of my classes, provide a prospective student with a tour filled with adequate information? However, as the day of the tour got closer, the excitement kicked in: I looked forward to meeting this student and family! Then, on the day of the tour, my terror returned. 

Having committed to Peddie’s Admission Office and this family, I showed up; it would only be 40 minutes, and then I would be done. After introductions, we slowly made our way to each stop on the tour, and with each stop came more confidence; with more confidence came more enthusiasm for both Peddie and the family I was touring. Time flew and after the tour, the receptionist in the admission office asked how it went, and all that burst out was: “I loved it! Sign me up for another one.” 

I would never have imagined that being a tour guide would turn out to be my “thing,” but being a part of the program gave me the confidence that I needed during my four years of high school. At Peddie, I transitioned from a timid freshman, afraid to speak to strangers, to a Head Tour Guide, giving two tours a week during the school year and multiple tours throughout the summer. I received “thank you” emails from Peddie faculty who listened in on my tours while I passed their classrooms or when they eavesdropped on my tours in the Annenberg Library.  The tour guiding experience gave me a voice on Peddie’s campus, but more importantly, it led me to do what I love.

Karly Bullock '19

Karly Bullock '19 is a sophomore at Bucknell University.