It’s Not Easy Being Green

Kermit the Frog once said that “it’s not easy being green”. Although green is a beautiful color, it sometimes gets a bad reputation. Green is the color of sickness. It is the color of jealously. Not to mention, it is also the color of fungus. My first year of being a professional has been full of moments in which I have considered to be “too green”.

In one too many occasions, guest speakers for lectures being hosted by my department have asked me “What’s your major?” This takes me by surprise each time. When I look at myself in the mirror, I see my polished hair, official university polo, heels, and nametag in place…I feel so disregarded in terms of my capabilities because I look too young. Even though I am equipped with tools and skills, my environment tells me I have something to prove—challenging me every day to be more professional. You know what else doesn’t help me in these situations? I’m short! When you barely tower over 5 feet tall, of course people will question why this green sapling is trying to become a tree before her time.

In addition to my youthful appearance, I returned to work at my alma mater—and trust me: when I say I love my institution, it’s because I know what Panther Pride is. I bleed purple! I love it not just for sentimental reasons, but this was the place I learned to become an adult. My alma mater is definitely one of the biggest influences in my life, and if it weren’t for the University of Northern Iowa—I would not be the same person who I am today!

At times, people say “Hello Tabby” when I’m walking around campus, and I think people still see me as that 19 year old, shy girl, who traveled all the way from South Texas to hang out in the corn fields for a few years. Many of the upperclassmen students that I advise, remember me from when they were freshmen and hold fond memories of me because I was a great student leader. Staff and faculty that I had built positive relationships with as a student were now excited in having me as their colleague. However, there’s a bit of nostalgia from time to time from some individuals. Maybe it’s in loco parentis? Tabby is all grown up…(cue in the tears).

I have come to realize that now, during my second year of my professional career people take my opinions and ideas seriously. It was never a question about respect, but of my development as a professional and people looking out for me because they care. Being green is a beautiful thing. It is about innovation. Green is about growth. Green is part of the future. Green is about change. How do you feel about being green? 


Tabatha Cruz

Student Affairs - the First Years

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