Taking My Life Into My Own Hands

The Back Story 

There are a lot of things that can change a person’s life. Through loss, love, and ultimate triumph, life is full of ups and downs, a constant game of learning who you are and what you want to make of your life. However, for me, the life changing event was pretty simple – it was a the decision to run for a position in my sorority.

I agree, this sounds pretty simple an unimportant in the grand scheme of life – but for me it was huge. Growing up I was a good kid. I took honors classes, got good grades, played varsity sports, was a member of several clubs, but to be honest, I coasted through most of these. Even once I came to college, I continued to glide through life, still to doing well in school and joining organizations, but I had no real responsibilities, no one truly relied on me.

Second semester of my sophomore year I was looking through my resume and was unimpressed, it lacked anything that would make me stand out in a crowd of hundreds of thousands of other college kids. Then, an opportunity presented itself, my sorority needed a new social chair for the fall semester of my junior year, and I knew this was my chance to finally take on responsibilities.

The Decision

The process of running for social chair was a blast. I love giving speeches in front of people and the challenge of persuading a group in my favor. However, when it was announced that I won,  I was instantly filled with the feeling of nausea and panic. Who am I to control a $30,000 budget, and plan six events in a semester meanwhile living up to the expectations the women in my sorority had of what a successful event was? I felt unprepared and unexperienced.

This anxiety lasted a couple weeks until I sat down and looked at the fall semester calendar and all that I was going to have to accomplish. After realizing how much time I had, and all of the resources that were available to me, I began to calm down. “I can do this” I told myself somewhat half heartedly, and started the journey to a wonderful, crazy, challenging semester.

After Thoughts

My semester as social chair went incredibly well. Don’t get me wrong, there were definitely some challenges- college kids are not the easiest of people to deal with.However,  after the first event, several girls told me it was one of the best they had been to, and it was a huge relief. From there I had the confidence in myself to plan the rest of the semester.

It took some convincing from friends and advisors, but deciding to be social chair was one of the best decisions I have ever made. It gave me the confidence to tell employers that I could manage a budget, contact venues, and control 300+ college kids(not an easy task let me tell ya), 6 different times within a span of four months.

Although it was obviously a great resume builder, it also brought forth a lot of personal growth

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Some members and I at my first event!

. I was never very good at planning in advance, but this job forced me to. It also forced me to tell venues and transportation services that I was the one responsible for all of the people that would be attending the event. This means if they got in to trouble or caused any damage, the money was coming straight out of my budget, as well as my reputation. These were not things that could be taken lightly, and it required careful detailing to ensure everything ran smooth.

7 months post social chair I have a great internship and can say that I use the knowledge and character I developed in my every day life. I am no longer a teenager coasting through life, I’m a women with real experience ready to take on anything the real world throws my way. All it took was a little initiative an belief in myself.

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