Family & Friends · Uncategorized

My Everything {literally}

In order to talk about my mentor and reflect on what it has been like having her, I also need to talk about my Big, best friend, and sister. As you can see she is basically everything to me hence the title “My Everything {literally}”.

{Let me tell you about my best friend} Emily, is an intelligent, passionate, driven, compassionate human. On the other side of things, she is silly, quirky (in the best of ways), and warm & fuzzy. She is everything you want in a person plus more because she literally does everything.

Everyone talks about finding their bridesmaids, adventure pals, and best friends… which is all true with Emily and I. BUT with Em, I have found so much more. To me, Em is my forever friend. She is everything wrapped up into one ball of tea, notes, positivity, hugs, snuggles, sass, and love. Out of many people in my life she is someone I connect with on the deepest of all levels, she is someone who knows what I am thinking before I even say it. Emily has made me feel like there is a place for my quirkiness and has helped me grow into the women I am today. I’m sharing the  letter I wrote to her on Sisterhood day and read in front of everyone in the tent.

My Dearest Em,

From day one I knew I needed you in my life. It all began with a simple compliment of me liking your dress during the Leadership Advancement Scholarship Competition Day. From there we started talking and you told me everything I needed to know about the scholarship. That night I told my mom all about you and how I really hoped you would be my mentor. Fast forward a few months, and I finally found out that you were my mentor. I basically called you screaming I was so excited and at the time did not know how important you soon would be to me. Another fast forward and we are at me moving into college and starting my life here. We bonded so much my first few weeks especially on our mentor mentee retreat. During this weekend we skipped all the basic things like every other pair and went straight into deep conversations. This was the moment I remember that I knew I needed and wanted you in my life forever. Soon after was recruitment, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to talk to you for awhile. Going through recruitment was hard without you but it all worked out in the end. I jumped home to Alpha Sigma Tau right into your open arms and not long after you became my big. This is where our perfect story ends and where we begin. Only a little while after big little, your mom was hospitalized. Her health was not looking good and the doctors continued coming with bad news. Although you were constantly worried about me, you never saw how worried about you I was. Everything came second to letting you know and making sure you knew I was there for you. Then that day came, I was sitting in my Communication Disorders Language Development class and I received a missed call from you. Instantly my heart dropped and I ran out of class to call back. You were trying to keep your composure while telling me that it was time for you to say goodbye to your mom. You never knew but I skipped class this day just to spend more time on the phone with you and to be there to help you through anything and everything. The next few days seemed like the longest days of my life, and then it was time for the celebration of your mom’s life. Myself and several other sisters went to be there for you and I remember seeing your face for the first time in two weeks and wanting to run to your side. You gave an amazing speech there and I was so incredibly proud of how strong of a women you were and are. After this, you had changed, not for worse, but because there was something huge missing now from your life. I knew you had to do things on your own, but I always made sure I was ready with ice cream or an IHOP date if necessary. Day by day you opened up more, pouring your heart out to me about life and what it was like without your mom. Because of this I opened up more to you as well and we were vulnerable together. Although my experiences have been very different from yours I was always there to listen and try to understand how you felt. The rest of the school year was tough, but together we both got through and you began to smile more and more as each day passed. Also, these were the months where although we may have not seen one another every day we were inseparable and closer than any other two humans. From many late night vents, movies, and food runs, you know me better than I know myself and I could not have picked a better human being to have in my life. I love you more than words can explain and more than the universe can hold. You are my rock, my best friend, my mentor, my big, and my everything. And Now a year and a half later, I don’t know how I went 17 years without you in my life.

So to everyone reading this I hope you find a Dwight to you Jim, Ann to your Leslie, Teri to Dr. Ross, or the best of all Em to your Ab ❤️ 

 

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Leadership Training

Connections are Leadership

November 4th – 5th • Traverse City, MI • Great Wolf Lodge • LI Connections Conference

 

The very first weekend in November on {a very fallish ride} over 100 students from CMU traveled to the Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City for the Connections Conference. As a part of the LAS program my whole cohort had the privilege of attending. The conferenceimg_3389, as its title implies, was about connections and how these connects translate into leadership. One of the big topics of this conference was how we as leaders can use the connections we have and how we can make new connections and utilize those as well. On the whole this conference was valuable and I am so excited to give you a little glimpse of what I had the privilege of participating in and what I learned during the weekend away from CMU.

Here is a little peek into what I did at the Connections Conference. First off, I ate some really really good food. But on a more serious note, we had two “Institute” Sessions, one at the beginning of the cimg_3404conference and one at the end. The people in these sessions made up our group for the weekend. During the “Institute” session at the beginning, we each talked about what we hoped to gain from the conference and at the end of the weekend we talked about what we actually gained. Also, in these sessions we discussed who/ what our resources are and how we can use them. We did this by getting into smaller groups of specific organizations such as Greek Life, Leadership Advancement Scholars, and the Business Residential College, etc. Once in those groups, we made a list of organization specific resources and discussed how we can utilize them to improve the organization. Another part of the conference was workshop sessions. We each attended four different workshops focused on connections but took that theme one step further. The sessions I went to were “Happy Houimg_3370r” with Jesi Ekonen, “Take Care of  your Leadership Garden” with Jamie Brown, “Rooted in Growth” with Jill Balliet, Emily Seward, and Madeline Klozik, and “Growing your Goals” with Kaela Humm and Royce Humm. Check out my other blog about my leadership lectures to learn more about each of these sessions. While the conference was busy, we got to have free to time make those connections with different people from CMU. There was time to go in the water park or just chill. Before the end of the night we had pizza and participated in an activity similar to speed dating in order to meet as many as people as we could.

My biggest takeaway from this conference was how to utilize the many different resources I have in order to develop the organizations I am in. Additionally, I learned about many new resources I can now access and was astonished once again at the many things Central Michigan has to offer. Overall, the weekend was phenomenal. I learned so much and as many times before the Leadership Institute has helped be become a better leader and a better human.

 

Uncategorized

Improve your Argument

LAS Protocol Class → COM 267L → Debate → Freshman Year/ Semester 1

Overview:

Hello! This lovely blog is about my COM 267L or Debate class. As a part of the Leadership Advancement Scholarship we take this course in the first semester of our freshman year. This year my Professor was Dr. Cory Hillman and I had class every Tuesday and Thursday 9:30 to 10:45. Throughout the semester we learned how to argue properly and debate with ease and in the right ways.

Debates:

In my class we had, five groups of four to five people for the debates. My small group included myself, Allie, Nicole, and Sadie. As for debates, I was partners with Allie, and Sadie and Nicole were partners. Every debate we would switch sides so each small group could argue from both sides of an issue multiple times. Also, switching sides forced us to occasionally argue for something that we might not necessarily believe in.This really taught me to look at things from multiple perspectives. By the end of class, we ended up doing one “practice “debate and two “real” debates.

The debates I participated in:

  1. The United States should ban all Assault Weapons – for this debate I was on the Opposition side so I argued that Assault Weapons should not be banned in the United States. During this debate we brought up evidence about the background checks and that many people do not own Assault Weapons in general unless they use them for sport. Also, we had varying definitions of several terms such as Assault Weapons and ban. Finally, we talked about the fact that there is already a black market for guns and if the United States bans them the black market would expand greatly and people would able to get many different kind of guns with ease.
  2. School Uniforms should be banned in all Schools in the United States – for this debate I was on the Government side. I argued that School Uniforms should be banned in all schools across the United States. Concerning this debate, Allie and I argued that school uniforms should be banned in the United States because they stifle children’s individuality. Also, we brought up facts that school uniforms are extremely expensive and many lower class families are unable to afford these uniforms. Finally, we talked about how parents send their children to public school because of the free education and if public schools make uniforms mandatory there is no longer free education.

What I Learned:

Overall, I learned about the art of arguing. Many people do not understand that arguing is much more than just yelling at one another until one person decides to stop. Also, arguments are not always settled because many people hold their ground not matter how absurd they may seem to you. Skills in arguments are debate are necessary in everyday life because everyone has disagreements but using argumentation/ debate you can settle the disagreements rationally and calmly.

Image result for debate clipart

 

 

 

Leadership Training

The SPARK of Leadership

 

On September 16th, a Friday,  instead of lounging my day away in my dorm room, I attended the Spark Leadership conference hosted by the Leadership Institute. This proved to be one of the best leadership trainings I have attended PLUS I had so much fun throughout the whole day. Throughout the day we participated in different group activities to work on each of our individual styles of leadership and to work as a team. Also, we took a test to figure out what type of leader we are and the advantages and disadvantages of our leadership style. All in all, it was a valuable day full of leadership, food, and fun. So here it is folks… my Spark Leadership experience.

There were so many cool activities to participate in at Spark but the two that stick out the most to me and the ones I’ll be talking about are the individual test on leadership style and an activity my group did with Jeremy (our wonderful LI secretary). First off, the leadership style test! For each question there were two answers and basically you had to rank them from 0-5 in order of importance. The questions were very specific so you could pin point your style. At the end of the test, you total everything up and that number you magically get, indicates the leadership type you are. My outcome indicated that I am considerate leader, which I 100% agree with. As a considerate leader I always want to hear about ideas from others and make other people are happy. Furthermore, I try to make sure everyone in the group is heard and that whatever we do, the whole group is happy or can support our decisions. However, there is a downside of being a considerate leader. As timg_2583his type of leader, many times I put everyone else before myself and end up suffering the consequences for that. Additionally, as a considerate leader, I may not always be productive because I try to keep everyone happy and ensure all ideas are heard. This can take considerable time. Next, my results conveyed that I am not a very direct leader, which I also really agree with. I always have a hard time being the controlling leader because I want everyone to share in whatever we are doing. I have a hard time telling people when they are wrong or are doing something they should not be. Basically, I have a hard time being direct with people when things get “ugly” because I want to keep everyone happy. Now that you know my strengths and weaknesses as a leader, I bet you are wondering about the next activity! For this, we were in groups of two and my lovely partner was my friend Ethan. Jeremy then told us that the pizza we ate earlier that day was poisoned and one person in our pair had lost their eyesight so we needed to find the cure in the tunnels of CMU. Then we had to decide which person in the group would be “blind” and which person would be the leader. In my group Ethan was the leader and I was blind. After we got all of the logistics, we were lead into a room with ACTUAL mouse traps (which ended up being really funny), creepy noises, and obstacles. Ethan had to lead me through the room with my eyes covered, AND he was not allowed to touch/ guide me except with his voice. I enjoyed this activity because it was something fun and I had to sit back and let someone else lead me. Ethan and I ended up being the first ones out of the maze and the only group to not set off one of the mouse traps so that was pretty awesome.

Finally, I will give you a small insight into what I learned and took away from Spark Leadership! One of the biggest things I learned was my specific leadership type and how knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of this type can help me grow as a leader.  In one of the sessions, I developed goals on how to become a better leader by enhancing my current leadership skills and gaining additional skills. My main goal is to become more direct as a leader and increase my skill at direct conversations with people, even when things might get “ugly”. Every day I am reminded to be a more direct person and grow into my leadership style.

Leadership Training

Leadership Safari

Leadership Safari  was the very first thing I participated in as a Freshman in college. This experience was honestly the most amazing way to start out the next big chapter in my life. So here are a few things about my week at Leadership Safari…

We began with moving my two car loads of things into my dorm room where for the next 4 hours my family, my roommimg_1934ates, and their families would set up our dorm room. Then we said goodbyes to our parents (mine was a bit tearful) and the four of us were officially on our own. Later that evening we listened to a speaker and met our safari group for the first time. I was a part of the Mantis Mob, within this group there were 10 incoming freshman, including myself, and our Safari guide Jazzy. Throughout the week we worked individually, got to know campus, and did team building exercises together. On to the a few of my favorite activities I got to participate in!

First on Sunday morning I got to take a Zumba class (which I highly recommend). Zumba class was SO much fun and it was a great way to start out my first week at CMU. The instructors were super fun and they picked the best music and really the experience was awesome, plus I got a work out in! Another one of my favorite activities was the trust fall on day two. Personally I hate the feeling of falling and I do not like heights, BUT I img_1936still di
d it and this also helped form bonds within my Sarafi group and we began to trust one another a lot more. It was super cool to see the effect of the fall on everyone and you could really see us come together more as a group. Next, one of the activities that impacted me the most was the poetry slam. Here everyone at Safari got to listen to two guys called the Asia
Project. Their performance displayed/evoked so

many emotions including happiness, sadness, and frustration. Asia’s img_1889poems were astounding and he just seemed to have a way with words. From the audience you could truly see the emotions as they poured through his words. Finally, the last activity I will talk about is one of the presentations I attended on the last day. It was my second one of the day and still pretty early in the morning but it was one of the best presentations and presentor I have ever seen, and I have been to quite a few presentations. I went to “The Ripples Guy” or Paul Wesselmann and he was incredibly inspiring. The stories he told and the way he presented in general was very relatable and interesting which I enjoyed and he had so much positive energy which flowed out.

Finally, here are two of the biggest things I learned throughout the week. Number one was definitely how important communication is. I know it is said all the time especially in leadership activities but really it is one of the most crucial things in leadership. Without communication nothing will work and ultimately nothing will get done. The second thing that really stood out to me was learning how to work with a group I had never been with before. This was very difficult for me because I am more of an introverted person and I tend to keep thoughts to myself when I do not know people. However, through the week I began to trust my group more and more and I became more comfortable around them.