Making an impact isn’t easy, and changing someone’s life usually isn’t the first thing on busy college students’ minds when they list off their weekend plans.

But this is the mindset we must have going into Corban Experience.

Two years ago this weekend, I was in the shoes of the high schoolers coming to Corban for the weekend. I was young, unsure of my future and, of course, terrified at the idea of spending my weekend with college students.

Thinking back to that weekend, I had no intention of going to Corban. I didn’t have a solid reason as to why; I just didn’t want to. I blamed my dislike of Corban on the cliff-like campus and the lack of an art program, to name a couple reasons.

However, the “negative” aspects of Corban seemed to dissolve after my stay during Corban Experience.

The first thing I noticed about my host was her cute laugh and her welcoming spirit. She made my best friend and I feel truly welcomed and accepted.

The night flew by in a blur of bands, wrestled-in pumpkin guts and so many people I didn’t know. I enjoyed my time at these events, but they were not the turning point in my decision.

Haley Meili is a sophomore education major, as well as a setter for Corban's volleyball team.

Haley Meili is a sophomore education major, as well as a setter for Corban’s volleyball team.

The turning point for me was the kindness shown by my host and all the other students I met.

I distinctly remember having the old “get to know you” conversations late at night in our hosts’ room. At the same time, the host should have been writing a paper that was due the next day.

My best friend and I kept on urging her to finish her paper, but she insisted that getting to know us was more important than writing her paper. The next day, she even switched around her normal schedule so we could go to class and eat lunch with her.

Our host not only welcomed us with a warm spirit, but also continued to show kindness throughout our stay. This kindness had an indefinite impact on my life, as well as my best friend’s.

Shortly after Corban Experience, we both were accepted to Corban and didn’t bother to finish applications for any other schools.

Fast forward a year, and my best friend and I were in the shoes of all those who had come before us with our own Corban Experiencer.

It was then that I fully gained respect for my former host. I realized there was a lot more put into being a host than simple friendliness.

Being a host meant being a provider—making sure my guest knew where to go. Being a host meant having energy, something that can be hard to come by as a busy college student.

Most of all, being a host meant being a friend by investing time and interest into my guest, just as mine did for me.

Thinking back to what changed my mind about Corban, it wasn’t the pumpkin guts, the tunes or even that fantastic macaroni and cheese in Aramark.

One of the pivotal reasons I changed my perspective about Corban was found in my host’s love for two girls she had just met.

As a student body, I hope we can match the kindness our host showed us that weekend and truly make an impact in the lives of our guests.