Kyra Woods advises everyone to take advantage of their time at UCM.
“Just enjoy it while you have it,” Woods said. “Two years have gone so fast, and I still have two left. But it’ll be gone really fast, so enjoy it while you can.”
The sophomore said she thoroughly enjoys campus life at UCM and the friendships she has made during her time here, so she doesn’t want it to end.
As a community advisor on the first floor of South Ellis Hall, Woods said she loves the experience of living on campus.
“We recently won floor of the year,” she said. “So my first floor hall won for having the best community and interaction. I’m really proud of them.”
Woods thinks her hall stood out above the rest because her residents are always outside of their rooms in the lobby area. They enjoy playing cards or doing study sessions together.
The first floor of South Ellis Hall is the aviation SHIP, so they have their major and classes to talk about.
“At the beginning of the year, I was the only one on the floor who was not (an) aviation major,” said Wood. “They took to me really well even though I’m not aviation.”
The makeup of the floor includes 34 men and five women.
When Woods applied to be a CA, she was interested in managing the aviation SHIP because her brother attended UCM for aviation and her boyfriend was previously a flight instructor on campus.
Woods isn’t alone though. She said all of the residence hall directors in Ellis serve as mentors to her.
“Even if you live in South, North, or East, we all come together,” she said. “You see each other all the time. The RHDs are so helpful because we go to them if we need to talk about something. They’re like our counselors.”
Woods has been involved on campus – even as a cheerleader.
“I wanted to cheer here because it seemed like the best fit for me,” Woods said.
Woods chose UCM because of the photography program and opportunity to be a cheerleader. Even though she is no longer involved in cheerleading, Woods still plans to be a photographer for newborn babies and families.
“I still want to have my own business one day – but I’m in entrepreneurship so I can know more about the business aspect,” she said. “I have all the photography skills that I need.”
She is still minoring in photography in order to keep her skills up to date.
So far Woods said she may have to stay an extra semester to finish her major since she got a late start.
Woods said moving back to her hometown of Springfield, Mo. is not part of the plan. For future plans, Woods said she wants to stay wherever she moves upon graduation.
“For marketing reasons, you do not want to have to remarket yourself as a photographer in different areas,” she said. “It is so hard to rebuild clients, especially returning clients.”
This semester Woods said it has been all about focusing on school work. She said she had to quit cheerleading to dedicate her time to her two on-campus jobs along with photography.
“I miss the group of girls and the team that we had – it was like a family,” Woods said. “But I understand that I’m not going to be cheerleading for the rest of my life. I’m going to be focusing on photography.”
Woods said it was a difficult decision that paid off because it gave her more time to interact with her residents.
“I’ve built that relationship with them,” she said. “I probably wouldn’t have had as strong of a relationship as I do with them if I was still cheering.”
Despite difficult decisions, Woods said UCM was definitely the right choice for her.
“I always knew that it was the best fit for me,” she said. “I never toured any other campuses just because of the fact that I knew it was for me.”
Woods encourages everyone to stay positive. She said she practices positivity. When she sees someone having a bad day she said she will try to cheer them up.
“Don’t let negativity get you down because there will be a lot of negativity around you,” Woods said. “Just be positive.”
PHOTO BY BETHANY SHERROW / REPORTER Kyra Woods works her shift at the front desk in Ellis Hall.