By Caitlyn Maltese
Elm Staff Writer
After graduating in 2014, Hilary Badger returned to Washington College to work in the Alumni House as the assistant director of chapter programming and alumni networking. As a student, Badger showed exemplary leadership skills as a peer mentor and as a student in charge of the senior class gift.
Badger was originally recruited to the school to be on the swim team. During her time at WC, she won the title of the fifth-fastest female swimmer in the 100-backstroke and the seventh-fastest female swimmer in the 50-freestyle.
However, athletics did not dominate her time at WC; academia was also important. Originally, Badger wanted to be a psychology and sociology double major. Although she enjoyed her psychology classes, they did not make her want to get up in the morning. One semester she took a world politics class and was hooked. “I did all the reading,” she said. “I did it quickly, and I loved it…It just clicked. Poli-sci was my passion.”
During the first semester of her sophomore year, Badger declared a political science major. She was also given the opportunity to intern on Capitol Hill for two consecutive summers. “I gained a lot of really valuable skills,” she said. “While I’m not doing political work here, I am using those analytical skills and the people skills I learned in Capitol Hill.”
Badger was an involved member of the campus community. She was a member of Alpha Omicron Pi and was on the Recent Alumni and Student Involvement committee, a position that opened the door to her current job.
“The transition hasn’t been that weird. I had a lot of professional friends that were staff members, so I was already kind of, as a student, riding that line between. I was so involved on campus, as a student, that I already kind of felt like a staff member,” said Badger.
Now after spending a few months working full-time in the Alumni Office, Badger misses student life. “I miss school…I still talk with my professors and ask, ‘Oh, can I come sit in on this class on feminism? Or can I come do this poli-sci thing?’” she said.
Badger has been chronicling her experiences transitioning from a student to a staff member on her blog, Purple Flowers. “I am living and working in the environment that was once mine in a very different way,” said Badger. “That’s a challenge in a lot of ways and, simultaneously, the most comforting thing in the world.”
During her time as a student, Badger never lived off-campus. Now she doesn’t live in a dorm with suite-mates and she doesn’t have a meal plan. Although she greatly misses the salad bar, Badger seems to be doing alright. “I kind of like packing my own stuff everyday,” she said. “I like learning how to cook and trying different things.”
“Living off-campus as a true adult in Chestertown is really fun,” Badger said. “It’s really interesting. The culture here is really great, the people here are amazing, and I think that’s definitely why I wanted to stay.” For more information on Badger’s experiences, check out her blog at http://perfectpurpleflowers.blogspot.com.