Leadership Development, Self

Dear An,

First off- I want to say thank you. You don’t know how much of an impact you’ve made on me over the past year, and that’s why I’m writing this to you. I’m well aware that I can walk over to Barnes and tell you everything I’m about to say in person, but you know how sappy I am- therefore, I’d rather make a ~dramatic~ blog post about it because I love you so much.

I want to start off by saying how insanely nervous I was to receive a mentee. I’m not kidding- I was so worried you wouldn’t like me and was truly scared I would be too over-the-top for you. I still probably am, but at least I know you’re okay with it. When I met you for the first time on your orientation day and we hugged and talked about school, I knew we were going to be a good pair. I was so excited to move in and start hiking and doing yoga- or so I thought (thanks for listing those things, I still love you).

I remember choosing mentees- I knew from the very start that I needed you in my family tree. Like I mentioned before, I was truly afraid to be a mentor because I was nervous we wouldn’t click or I’d let you down in some way. I knew that I had to be your support system, and ready or not, I was going to be that. As we started talking, the nervousness hanging over my head went away and excitement filled me. I was so excited to add to our family tree and have a friendship, rather than a typical mentor-mentee relationship.

From going on little coffee dates to taking little road trips together, our friendship is something I am so thankful for. You have the ability to take any situation and make it comforting and positive. I truly admire your fun personality and ability to make friends with ANYONE you talk to. I might not say it all the time, but I am so proud of everything you’ve done this year. You are going to do amazing things (you already are), and I can’t wait to be here every step of the way to watch you grow. You’re an incredible leader, and watching you participate in things you’re passionate about blows me away.

I’ve learned a lot as a mentor, and I owe it to you. I strive to help in any way I can, and I thank you for teaching me lessons as the year continued on. I’ve also learned some situations can’t be fixed, and not everyone has the same way of working through things. I am proud to be your mentor, and I can’t wait to see how much of an impact you make on your own little mentee (we’re gonna be the cutest fam).

Though we don’t talk every single day, I know we’re always there for each other and that is rare. Thank you for helping me be not only a mentor but a friend to you- I love you, boo boo.

P.S. thanks for singing all of your sentences with me and being as loud and insane as I am

 

 

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Leadership Education

(COM461L)munication in Leadership

COM461L, Communication in Leadership, was one of the final classes required for my LAS scholarship. This class featured interactive discussions, case studies, essays, group facilitation, and activities to keep us thinking throughout the entire class period.

I was really excited to take this class, and I had heard nothing but great things about it. I was ready to apply previous knowledge from other classes to this one while working with people from my cohort. There’s something about all-LAS classes that gets the energy going in the room and leaves me diving deeper into the concepts.

In COM, we were required to participate in class discussions of prompts. We were also required to facilitate a group discourse of a leadership concept we were assigned to. Though public speaking is not my forte, I was able to push through my nerves and lead the class through a discussion on the Challenge of Loyalty and the different ways leaders can stay loyal to their followers. We also dissected a number of different case studies including follower empowerment in Apollo 13 and creative climates while working with Pixar. We also had to tell different stories about ways we were effective/ineffective leaders and why the situations led to the outcomes. The book we used by Hackman and Johnson explained communication theories and perspectives thoroughly, allowing us to really grasp the meaning and concepts of each.

I really enjoyed this class, and I looked forward to going to it on Mondays and Wednesdays. Professor Carlson welcomed us into class each day with a smile on her face and an oh-so-positive attitude that radiated onto the class. She made the class worthwhile and encaptured the true meaning of a leader by being one herself.

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Community, Leadership Development

Program Board

When looking for a new RSO on campus to join, I stumbled upon Program Board. I had always noticed the PB logo on the activities flyers on campus and had been told by many people how fun it was, so I decided to go to a meeting. Upon walking in, I was greeted by many different people and felt instantly welcomed into this new club.

Program Board is an organization on CMU’s campus that plans different events and entertainment acts to allow students to get involved on campus. The mission statement for this wonderful RSO is to “provide diverse entertainment and programs for free or at an affordable cost to CMU students and community members.”

Program Board planned so many different activities on campus this year, and all of them were major hits. Some of these events included:

  • Canvas and Coffee (painting a design on a canvas while drinking coffee and getting to know other students in the process)
  • Multiple comedy shows
  • Magic shows
  • CMU’s Spring Concert (s/o to Public and Jesse McCartney)
  • Movie showings with popcorn and other snacks
  • Trivia Nights
  • Up All Night (an all-campus event that takes place from 11pm-3am that allows students to snag tons of free food, play games, enter in raffles, run around in bounce houses, dance to music, tie-dye shirts, and rollerskate)
  • Safer Sex Patrol (going to bars and informing people about safe sex)
  • Maroonzie (a music and arts festival in the spring for CMU students that includes free food, henna tattoos, live music, paintings, and photo booths)

Program Board is a really great opportunity to make connections with others and get involved on campus. Because everyone in the club is super outgoing and the members really care about another, the environment is incredibly welcoming. We started each meeting off with an icebreaker to get everyone chatting, and then later addressed any birthdays of any members and talked about any events we had coming up. The people in this RSO really make each other feel valued, and they really want to get to know everyone and their interests.

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Leadership Development

A Letter for Better

Because one of my favorite things to do is promote positivity and spread little random acts of kindness, I was so excited to join the amazing RSO on campus called A Letter for Better.

A Letter for Better is a student organization on campus that meets and writes handwritten letters and notes to organizations in hopes of spreading kindness. I absolutely love going to the meetings and chatting with other people while designing letters. We usually start the meeting off with an icebreaker or a small activity to get everyone pumped up to write letters. We then learn about the cause or the group of individuals we are going to be writing to, and write to them.

Over the past year, we have written letters to nursing homes, breast cancer survivors, veterans, CMU’s Alternative Breaks program, CMU’s counseling center, and more. It feels incredible to know you’re brightening up someone’s day just by writing a note to them, especially if you’ve never even met them. You don’t always have to know the person to reach out to them and make their day.

As my college career continues, I am excited to serve on e-board as the Activities and Logistics chair and work with 5 other amazing girls. I love getting people to interact with one another, so I am extremely excited to plan games and different activities for us to do to get to know one another. My “why” statement in life is to inspire others to promote positivity and live fearlessly, and this club goes hand-in-hand with everything I want to do. It is so important to spread kindness, especially because you never know what someone could be going through or dealing with. A Letter for Better is such an incredible club, and it truly warms my heart that so many people are willing to take time out of their days to brighten someone else’s.

Leadership Development, Leadership Education

Freshman Year In Review

As I sit at my kitchen table writing this blog post, I am absolutely mind blown that my freshman year of college is over. HOW is it over? I feel like I just moved to Mt. Pleasant yesterday! When they same time flies as you get older, they aren’t kidding around. SO many things happened over the course of this year, and I grew so much.

As my senior year came to an end and summer began, I had the dreadful “move-in day” cloud hanging over my head. I knew that in a few short months, I would have to move to a completely new place and begin a new chapter of my life. Being extremely close to my parents and having the best friends in the world living minutes away from me, I was not ready to go to college at all. Eventually, August 20th came creeping up and it was time for me to start my freshman year at Central. I went through the week of Leadership Safari and I had a blast meeting new people, but I was ready to go back home. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a summer camp where you could just go home right after it ended. This place was my new home, and I had to get used to that. I was fine for the first couple of weeks (besides the HORRIBLE heat), but the feelings of homesickness really hit me during late September. I called my parents sobbing my eyes out multiple times a day, and started regretting my choice of going to CMU. I came home almost every single weekend because being home was my only feeling of comfort during those first few months at school. I toughed it out for a couple of months, and I finally felt comfortable in my dorm around Thanksgiving. I started spacing out the weeks that I went home so I had something to look forward to, and that helped me so much.

Around Christmastime, I was having the time of my life. I have such incredible roommates that I could not be more thankful for, and they bring out the best in me. I found myself living my life how I was before I moved to college, and I was back to my happy self. I went home for winter break, reconnected with all of my friends from high school, and got to see my wonderful family. What I wasn’t prepared for was going back up to school after winter break, because I started missing home again. This time wasn’t as bad, because I figured I was just used to being home for a while. And I was right- after about a week or two, I started feeling like my normal self again- thank you again, roomies!

Now, in late April, I am realizing that CMU is the best decision I’ve ever made. I am a part of the amazing LAS program, and I have made such incredible friends that I KNOW will last a lifetime. The LI helped me so much, and there were so many resources and people who I could go to if I ever needed help. I found my hobbies and study spots and really focused on myself this year. I grew so much as both a person and a leader, and I learned so many things. Here are just a few of them:

  • It is okay to cry. I promise. No one will judge you- and if they do, who cares?
  • It is also perfectly okay to visit home. After all, home is where the heart is!
  • Calling your parents more than one time a day is normal- even if it a 2 minute FaceTime to see your dog.
  • DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY! Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks.
  • Bring lots of snacks with you. The caf is not good- sorry Robby.
  • People want to help you- you just have to ask for it!
  • Not everyone you meet is going to be your best friend- don’t force friendships.
  • Sleep is very valuable and naps are wonderful.

Over the course of this year, I realized all of these things and more. Freshman year was an up-and-down rollercoaster, but I am so thankful for the things that happened and the people I met. Fire up Chips!