Associate News Editor
Homecoming, or more colloquially known as HoCo, is a traditional event tied in with a football game that is used to welcome students, faculty, and alumni back to campus each year in the fall. In traditional homecoming spirit, there is a crowned king and queen who are nominated and voted on by students.
Millersville is no exception to this autumn tradition, and this year, our Homecoming Queen was none other than senior Julia Lenz, an early childhood and special education major.
Many know Lenz because of her extremely active involvement around campus. Having four jobs, she certainly solidifies her place and makes her presence known. “Most people know me from The Galley. I make my wraps with love. I love to have conversations with people. My goal there is to make everyone smile. ”
As well as working at the Galley, Lenz also works as an orientation leader, a tour guide with the Sharp team, and at the Info Desk for the SMC. She has a great love for all these jobs, however the one she spoke most highly of was being an orientation leader. The light in her eyes was undeniable when speaking about her orientation students, with whom she is known as the “Momma Duck” because of the love and support she gives them.
However, Lenz brings this love and care to everyone she comes across in everyday life, not just her orientation students. Perhaps this is why she was nominated by multiple people for this years Homecoming Court, alongside the rest of the girls on the court. Lenz describes even just being nominated as “the most humbling experience of my life. I struggle with my self confidence, so it’s nice that others see these qualities in you that you don’t see in yourself.”
Despite being such a powerful example of genuine kindness on campus, Lenz was still extremely shocked when she heard her name called on the football field that evening. “I was honestly so nervous. I really didn’t think I was going to win. I remember I didn’t know where to stand, I was so scared. We went over everything and where to go but in the moment, my mind went blank. I had to remind myself of what to do.” After the feelings of blankness wore away and it settled in that she had won, Lenz just says it was “blessings beyond blessings. I give it all to God.”
When asked why Lenz thinks she won, she says, “Honestly, I think it’s kindness. It’s the impression you leave on people and the way you make them feel. I want people to feel worthy. I love to see the best in people.” Though she goes on to say that the rest of the girls on the court are amazing people that she was honored to share the spotlight with. “They are a great group of genuine, beautiful girls who are all so kind.” The 2018 Homecoming Court was filled with people who truly embodied what it means to be a genuine and kindhearted representation of the Millersville student body.
Lenz says her life has changed in certain ways since she won the crown. “People come up to me and say ‘you really deserve it, I’m glad it was you.’ Even people I’ve only talked to once or twice. It’s just been an outpouring of love everywhere, like on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. It’s been overwhelming because I’m so used to giving it out that I’m not used to getting it all back. I read all the comments [on Instagram] the night after and it was such an overflow of love, I just started crying. It’s so humbling.”
Because of her active involvement on campus, Lenz is known by much of the student body. Spreading love everywhere she goes, this is most likely why she was nominated and chosen by so many. Being involved on campus is extremely important, according to Lenz. Along with her four jobs, she is also involved with multiple other organizations, such as being the vice president of the National Society of Leadership and Success, Best Buddies, Study Buddies, ECHO [Early Childhood Organization], among others.
With all of this on her plate, plus being extremely busy with her last year of school and being in the education field as well, one might wonder how she can keep everything together. It isn’t always easy: “I struggled at first. But it’s really all about time management.”
Even though her life is seemingly full to the brim, Lenz believes it is all worth it to be as involved as she is on campus and that it is very important: “I just love meeting new people. The biggest thing is making connections; share what you love. I love to see the light in people’s eyes when they talk about something they’re passionate about.”
Lastly, Lenz also gave the one goal that she lives by everyday: “I just want to inspire people. I want people to know that they can make a difference just by being kind. Kindness really does change the world.”
It’s true; Lenz makes a difference and impacts people everyday she makes someone smile on campus. A seemingly small gesture of kindness can mean the world to someone; you truly never know. However, Lenz does not give herself all the credit: “I give everything up to God. It’s a part of who I am.”