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Dress to Impress (Your Table That Is)

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By Catherine Roebuck, Social Media and Communications Specialist
 
We all know how Thanksgiving goes. It’s a stuff-yourself-until-you-burst kind of day, followed immediately by food-induced coma. If you are hosting the festivities this year, wow your guests with some great tablescapes that, with a few changes, could easily stick around through winter.

1. The Naturalist: You love nature. You live for nature. In fact, your home is a shrine to the glories of the earth. Sound like you? Then set up your tablescape to pay homage to your love for the outdoors. Be inspired by this wonderful setup from Country Living. Take a piece of driftwood or old barn wood, and top it with wheat, grapes, gourds and some soy candles (extra points if those are pumpkin scented). Pair with earthenware dishes and you are ready to impress Mother Nature herself.



Ready to winterize your centerpiece? Exchange the wheat for pine tree branches, the grapes for cranberries, and the gourds for pinecones, and sprinkle a little glitter or faux snow over the whole kit and caboodle. Now your table is ready for a winter wonderland!
 
2. The Non-Conformist: Maybe traditional oranges, reds and browns aren’t your thing. You have a bright, eccentric personality and the muted colors of autumn aren’t going to put a damper on your décor. Try this great tablescape from Dimples and Tangles.



Not even the traditional pinecones are safe in this bright setup. Nix the wheat bundles and replace them with pheasant feathers and bright roses. Instead of a burlap table runner, go bold with hot pink and leopard– the possibilities are endless and can really showcase you and your fabulous self. 

Want to transition this into winter? Add some glitter to the pinecones, change out the pink table runner for a shiny blue, remove the pheasant feathers and replace them with evergreen branches and POOF! Your winter-themed tablescape is a go.

3. The Golden Girl: Keeping your tablescape monochromatic doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Check out this beautiful setting from A Pumpkin and A Princess. Gold is the theme of the day with this one, pairing gold pumpkins and gold dusted pinecones with gilded votives. It’s all grounded with wood slabs and a burlap table runner. The berry branches (also painted gold) twist through the whole design to create an effortless flow. Simple, but definitely a show-stopper.



To morph this into a winterscape, wrap some twinkle lights around the berry branches (we recommend battery operated ones) and change out the pumpkins for hurricane vases filled with cranberries, pine needles, and golden candles. If you want to take it a step further, paint some snowflakes onto the burlap for some added pizazz.
 
4. The Classicist: There’s no need to overdo it at your gathering. You like things to be traditional, clean, and classic Thanksgiving. And nothing says Thanksgiving like a good cornucopia. This horn of plenty is a symbol of abundance and nourishment, exactly what you plan on delivering to your guests. HomeGoods understands, which is why they bring you this tablescape inspiration. Just because you like things traditional doesn’t mean you don’t have some spunk in you; throwing in some glittery pumpkins is a nice surprise. Fill that horn with more gourds, berries and fall leaves than you know what to do with and people will definitely post that to Instagram.  



Transitioning this layout for winter is a little trickier. So tricky, you may just want to start from scratch after the turkey leftovers are gone. However, you could paint the cornucopia to resemble a certain jolly man’s hat, or change the horn out for a gift box. Switch out the fall leaves for snowflakes, paint the berries red, and replace the gourds with pinecones and pine branches and you’ve got yourself a winter-ready setting fit for a classy gal like you.
 
5. The Procrastinator: Wait… It’s THANKSGIVING? But we just had it 364 days ago. So, you forgot Thanksgiving was even coming up. It’s okay, you’re definitely not alone. But now the whole family has reminded you that they are coming over in two hours and Halloween decorations still haunt your house. Not to fear, you can still make a great tablescape in a pinch. Try this lovely one from Coordinately Yours. Go outside and snatch some pinecones off a nearby tree (bonus points if you can grab some pine needles too for added oomph) and throw those little oranges you’ve been saving for your children on the table. Throw in some candles and no one will be the wiser, except for your kids when they wonder why you’ve stolen (ahem–borrowed) their little oranges.



In case after that scare you feel the need to be proactive in the winter décor department, you can easily switch this one around. Give your children back their oranges, and swap them for some cranberries or more pinecones. Sprinkle some faux snow over the whole menagerie and you are ready for winter. Of course, you could always wait until the last-minute. You work best under pressure, anyway.
 
There you have it, five tablescapes that are sure to impress children, in-laws, strangers– even you. Hopefully these have inspired you to knock the socks off of the holiday season, but if not, well, at least they were pretty to look at.
 
Gobble Gobble,
Catherine

The Coolest Job in the World (For a Year)

(Leadership) Permanent link

By Emily Fetcho Barclay, Butler

Barclay 

My name is Emily Fetcho Barclay and I worked for Kappa Kappa Gamma during the 2010-2011 school year as a Leadership Consultant. I had the honor of visiting 26 college campuses in 30 weeks, meeting amazing Kappa women all over North America, and having the coolest job in the world that year. After my year of travel, I moved to Los Angeles where I currently live and work.

During my undergrad, I studied music education. I was an exception to the normal route one takes to becoming a Field Representative, as I taught full time in Indiana for a year after graduating before applying to the program. I was nervous that I would be too far out of college to really make a connection or an impact with our active chapters, but I found the real world experiences I gained from a year of work very helpful in my role as an LC.

In my post-LC life, I am a full time general music teacher to kinder through fourth grade students at KIPP: Raíces Academy in Los Angeles. My husband and I own a home in Torrance, and I am active in the South Bay Alumnae Association and as an adviser to Gamma Xi Chapter at UCLA and Upsilon Chapter at Northwestern. I continue to serve Kappa in a big-picture way as a facilitator for GIRLS Academy and leadTODAY and as a staff member at Leadership Academy.  

There are many things my year on the road taught me, both directly and indirectly, but these are the top five lessons that have made the biggest impact on my life.

1. Know your audience. I think this was perhaps the biggest takeaway from my year as an LC. The most important part of our job is conversations with othersconversations with chapter officers, conversations with Kappa volunteers, conversations with University officials, and even whole-chapter conversations in the form of a presentation. Knowing how to have those conversations and how to best reach your audience is a versatility that I draw on over and over again in my adult life. The way I speak to a student vs. my boss is very different, and my year traveling for Kappa helped me hone those skills.

2. Go with the flow. As an LC, you very quickly learn you are not really in control of your own life. You rely on planes to get you where you need to be (and they are not always reliable and on time), you rely on chapter women to provide food and shelter (quite literally), and all the while, you go it alone. All of this lack of control can be a huge stressor, or you can learn to not sweat the small stuff. Every LC has stories of strange accommodations and travel woes, but the job quietly teaches you that this too shall pass and you can choose your own outlook. If this isnt a practical life lesson, I dont know what is!

3. Make it work. Yes, I am a Tim Gunn fan, but I find this phrase particularly perfect for life on the road. Your suitcase will get lost. You wont have a projector and you were planning on using one. Youll get the flu during recruitment. Anything and everything that could go wrong will, but you will still have to do your job to the best of your ability. Working as a Leadership Consultant taught me to be creative and solution-oriented, and I find these qualities benefit me immensely in my day-to-day life.

4. Ask. When an LC visits a chapter, she is often seen as the expert in all things Kappa. While yes, she is a very knowledgeable young woman, she doesnt know it all. I learned early on that I should never be afraid to pick up the phone or send an email if I was unsure about something. There are so many amazing Kappa volunteers serving as resources to our chapters and alumnae associationsuse them! I continue this practice of asking regularly these days, to gain more information, to challenge the process, and to grow as a professional.

5. Listen. Too often, we diagnose a problem without really knowing the full story. As the literal boots on the ground for the Fraternity, a Leadership Consultant can often gather more information on a specific issue and then develop a better plan to help a chapter. It is our job to listen, hear all sides, and work with chapter members to get all of the information. Listening is a crucial skill in life, as we work to be part of a team in the workplace, solve problems with others, and provide meaningful friendships.

Be Warned: Traveling for a year is an amazing experienceand the travel bug may never go away. Luckily, this is another added bonus for me, as my husband and I love to visit new places togetheran unexpected bonus we discovered during my year of travel!

In any job interview, I find speaking about my time as consultant easythere are so many skills that have made me more flexible and the experience can be related to skills in any profession. I am grateful to Kappa Kappa Gamma for the opportunity to grow as an individual and leader, and absolutely recommend applying for the Field Rep program.

Loyally,

Emily

Editor's note: Check out some of Emily's travels as a Leadership Consultant and after! The Leadership Consultant application is now available. Deadline to apply is December 1. Visit the Our Team page to learn more about the position and apply today!  

 

 

 

Learning the Skills

(Leadership) Permanent link

By Riley Shipman, South Carolina, 2014–2015 Leadership Consultant

Riley Shipman 
 
My name is Riley Shipman and I am a 2014–2015 Leadership Consultant. I was born in Montreal, Que., but I have lived most of my life in southern Florida. I graduated from the University of South Carolina with a degree in marketing and management. As an undergraduate member of Epsilon Kappa Chapter, I served as the Vice President-Scholarship as well as the president of USC’s Panhellenic Executive Board. I knew I wanted to apply to be a Leadership Consultant when I met the first LC to visit my chapter. She had the most amazing things to say about her experience as an LC and I was most interested in traveling across the United States and Canada and getting to work with so many great Kappas.

7 Skills You Learn as a Leadership Consultant (and How They Will Benefit You Later):


1. Developing Relationships and Building Trust

One of my favorite parts about being an LC is getting to build relationships with Kappas from all over North America. As an LC, I know that I am representing Kappa as an organization and it is really important that chapter members are able to trust me and believe that I have their best interests in mind. Already, I have developed so many amazing friendships that will always have a special place in my heart! Meaningful relationships are what make life special, and I am thankful that I not only have so many from my travels, but also that I have better developed my relationship- and trust-building skills to continue using throughout my life.

2. Working with Different Generations

LCs work closely with undergraduates, advisers, Fraternity volunteers, Headquarters staff and university administrators on a daily basis. I have had great experience communicating with people of all ages and I know this aspect of my job as an LC will greatly benefit me in the future. No matter what path I choose, I am always going to be interacting with people of all ages, from all walks of life. Being an LC has helped me fine-tune the skills I need to be able to communicate effectively with people from any generation.

3. Finding Creative Solutions

During a visit, I found that I just really needed a cup of tea but didn’t have a kettle or microwave handy. I travel with a little steamer which is amazing for de-wrinkling my clothing and, as I discovered at this visit, is also great for boiling water in a pinch. Not only do I now know what to do in a tea-mergency, but I also learned an important lesson in creative problem-solving. In life, not every problem is going to have a straightforward solution. My job as an LC has given me the confidence to think outside the box to come up with a solution, no matter what life throws at me.

4. Adapting to Changing Circumstances
 
I should tell you that I am a person who totally lives by schedules, itineraries, and to-do lists. That being said, I have learned so much about the importance of flexibility. Schedules and itineraries will always change and tasks will always be added to and removed from to-do lists as needed. Almost every week, LCs have to adapt to living in a new city with a new group of Kappas who have their own wants and needs. Since I’ve started traveling, I have quickly learned how to hit the ground running, no matter what situation I find myself in. Instead of dreading change, I am starting to find that having to adapt is becoming an exciting challenge.  I know that life is not always going to unfold as planned, but my time spent working as a Leadership Consultant will help me do a much better job going with the flow.

5. Public Speaking and Presentation Skills

My classes and leadership positions in college helped me to become a good public speaker, but working as an LC has helped me improve those basic skills. I feel totally comfortable standing up in front of a chapter—whether it is made up of thirty members or three hundred—and presenting on any given topic. I have learned how to make presentations more fun and interactive, as well as some best practices for effectively delivering a message. I know that I will have to give presentations and speak easily in front of groups throughout the rest of my life. Because of this position, I really don’t think I will ever get that nervous!

6. Using Your Available Resources

Irons are much too heavy to travel with and not every chapter will have one available for LCs to use. Some of my teammates and I have found that a quick-fix to this problem is using a hair straightener instead. As long as you don’t hold it in one place for too long, a straightener will do a fine job smoothing out fabric. For me, this life-hack illustrates the importance of utilizing available resources, be it hair straighteners, documents from the Kappa website, or Fraternity volunteers. In relationships and in the workplace, it’s important to remember that you can’t always do everything by yourself—resources are available and you should use them!

7. Organization and Time Management

Part of my job is balancing paperwork with sending emails and keeping track of expense reports. I’ve found that I have to stay very organized and manage my time wisely to make sure I am completing all these different tasks by their respective deadlines while still making time for meetings and fun activities during my visits. Since the beginning of August, I have gone through a few different planners and calendars before finding one that works best for me! In anything you do, organization and time-management skills are so incredibly important. As an LC, I’ve had some great practice with these skills and have also learned how to create a good work-life balance, something that will help me to live a balanced life when I start my career.

Loyally,
Riley

Editor’s Note: The Leadership Consultant application is now available. Deadline to apply is December 1. Visit the Our Team  page to learn more about the position and apply today!

Surviving a New Campus

(Leadership) Permanent link

By Kristi Norris, Tulsa, 2014–2015 Leadership Consultant

Kristi Norris 
Hey Kappaland! My name is Kristi Norris, and I am a recent graduate from The University of Tulsa in Tulsa, Okla. While at TU, I was the Vice President-Standards for the Delta Pi Chapter, and also served as Nominating Committee Chairman. I wanted to be a Leadership Consultant so I could empower members to make changes in their personal lives and in their Kappa chapters. I also wanted to encourage and build personal relationships with the young women I come in contact with. Because the LC life is an ever-changing one, here are my tips for …
 
How to Survive on a New Campus Every Week:

 
1. Find a few girls you know you can count on.
 
Kristi 1
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This will come in handy when you realize you forgot something and need to run to the store, or when your favorite movie just came out in theaters and you really want to go see it! These are girls you can really invest in making a true friendship with. It’s great to be able to count on a couple young women when you need to unwind, and they’ll appreciate the extra effort you put in to get to know them.
 
2. Make sure you have a Wi-Fi connection wherever you're staying.
 
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Get the password if necessary. This is crucial for paperwork and emails!
 
3. Make sure to get the phone numbers for each woman you'll be meeting with, whether for an officer meeting, lunch or coffee.

Kristi 3
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Download or print your schedule, as well. This way you can make sure to have phone numbers next to the meeting times and pencil in any adjustments as the week goes on.
 
4. Make changes to your schedule if something is off.

Kristi 4
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If you need your sleep and you are scheduled at 7:30 am and 10 pm with nothing in between, ask the officers to move things around. Establish that while you're here to work, you're also here to explore and make relationships. Make sure the chapter knows your boundaries, but that it’s okay for them to contact you if they need you. But remember to be flexible! No schedule is going to be perfect, and the women are very busy—it’s possible you’ll have to suffer through a few really long days to fit everyone in around classes, on-campus activities, and any events they have that week.
 
5. Make a short list of the places you'd like to see on campus and in the city you're visiting.

Kristi 5 
 
Maybe there's a pretty library or a historical marker nearby; it’s fun to see the sights of the different cities you visit. If you'll be taking any days off during the week, make sure to start your plan of what you'll do and how you’ll get there. This is especially important if you’re leaving the city you’re staying in.
 
6. Download or take a screenshot of the campus map onto your phone.

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Make sure you figure out where all your meetings are, how to get there, and ask any questions necessary to fill in the gaps.
 
7. Determine if there are any errands you need to run that week.
 
Kristi 7
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Such as mail credit card receipts, purchase deodorant, or buy a new pair of shoes. Then schedule it in!
 
8. Locate the nearest Target and/or convenience store.
 
Kristi 8
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Determine if it's within walking distance. If not, make sure you have one of your new friends lined up to take you.
 
9. Find the best coffee shop on campus.

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Those infinite officer meetings will feel even more infinite with no caffeine.

10. Determine where your spot will be.
 
Kristi 10
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This counts for meetings and where you're going to spend downtime. It’s nice to find one or two places you are really comfortable utilizing—one that’s more private for officer meetings, and one in a fun, public place.
 
11. And finally, learn to expect the unexpected!

Kristi 11
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No matter how many schools you visit, there is always an adjustment period. It’s important to learn to deal with the constant change and to accept the unknown. It always works out, and with deep breaths, you can make it through anything.
 
Loyally,
Kristi

Editor’s Note: The Leadership Consultant application is now available. Deadline to apply is December 1. Visit the Our Team  page to learn more about the position and apply today!

Leadership Consultant Toolbox

(Leadership) Permanent link

By Sarah Elizabeth “S.E.” Spencer, North Carolina, 2014–2015 Leadership Consultant

S.E. Spencer
 
Hi y’all! My name is S.E. Spencer. I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in May of 2014. While at UNC, I served as Recording Secretary and President for Epsilon Gamma Chapter. I also served UNC Panhellenic as Vice President-Standards. So far, the Leadership Consultant experience has been amazing— difficult, but amazing nonetheless! My decision to apply to become an LC was two-fold. First, I was unsure exactly what I wanted to do after graduation, and Kappa was offering this amazing opportunity to travel the country and gain some very marketable skills. Second, I had such an amazing undergraduate experience in large part because of my involvement with Kappa, and I wanted to help young women across North America have an experience that was just as meaningful. So I said, “Sign me up!”

Being an LC requires certain qualities, and here are some qualities I believe are most important for an LC to have:

1. Patience.
Most things will not go according to plan! The most important thing I have learned in my time on the road is that it’s okay. Most of the time, chapter women are so excited for a visit and eager to learn and grow; there are, however, some chapters that are set in their ways and need a little more coaxing and convincing. Being patient and remembering that you cannot change the world in a day is the healthiest way to cope during the visits where everything seems to be going wrong. Keep all things in perspective and find a way to do your little bit perfectly, even when the going gets tough. Also, planes get delayed and cancelled all the time, and it isn’t always easy to be patient with the gate agents. Do it anyway because they are more willing to accommodate when you ask with a smile on your face.

2. Problem-solving.
On the note of things not going according to plan, problem-solving will be necessary 100 percent of the time. The chapter will look to you as an expert on all things Kappa. You will be the fixer, Olivia Pope-style. Being able to work through problems with the chapter and come up with solutions that make them happy has been one of the most rewarding aspects of my job thus far. Seeing an issue fixed through teamwork and creativity is a tangible way to realize the impact you are having on a chapter.

3. Creativity.
New challenges will arise on each visit, and you will have to figure out how to solve them in a way that is best for that chapter. Even when the same issues arise, the solutions are usually different at each chapter. Creative problem-solving with members has led to some amazing solutions that fit each individual chapter. By collaborating with the leaders, I am able to give the chapter ownership of a solution rather than imposing my ideas and opinions upon them.

4. Organization. 
Sometimes it’s hard to remember this is a job because it doesn’t always feel like work. However, it’s important to keep in mind that there are a lot of moving parts and being an LC requires a significant amount of planning and organization. In a given week, you will be in contact with four or five chapters about upcoming visits and one or two you have just left. That’s a lot of names and meetings to keep track of! The more organized and on top of reports and letters you can be, the more you will be able to experience during your visits because you won’t be stuck in your room catching up on paperwork.

5. Fearlessness.  Each day you will be asked to do something you have never done before, and you are going to have to act like it doesn’t faze you. You very well might have to do something that scares the living daylights out of you, but you will do it, and chances are it will not be as bad as you originally expected. Going into each day with the mindset that I will be prepared to do whatever is necessary to help each chapter has been what gets me through some of those difficult situations.

6. Confidence. 
Presenting can be nerve-wracking, but it is especially tough when it is to a room of 170 or more women. Being confident in your experience and knowledge is one of the most important ways to gain the respect of the chapter women. My best experiences so far have been those where I have felt confident in my Kappabilities and have been able to share my knowledge with someone else. It can be hard to insert yourself into a chapter for only a short period of time and feel as if you’ve made a difference. Remember, you are there to do your job, and at the end of the day, sometimes that’s all you can do. You also have to be confident enough to sprint through an airport in business casual clothes while toting your rolling bag and carry-on because you really need to make that plane!

7. Vulnerability.
It’s okay to ask for help. In fact, it is encouraged! That was one of the first lessons I learned on the road. Leaving Columbus, I felt well trained, but I soon found out that there were far more questions than I could answer alone. Knowing when it was time to ask for help and being honest with the chapter women was tough for me. I have always been very independent, but I soon began to realize that asking my teammates and using all my other resources, human and written, was the best way to guide the women I met.

8. Dedication.
You are always on the job, even when you are at meals or just hanging out. You work hours that will never be asked of you in any other setting. Some days it feels like your head has just hit the pillow when your alarm goes off to start the next day. This position requires more energy and enthusiasm than anything I have ever done in my life, and I love it. However, it is no small task. In order to make the most of this experience, you will need to be physically and mentally prepared to work hard at all hours of the day and always have a smile on your face. Being an LC is not a job that can be done halfway.

9. Selflessness.
This may be one of the most challenging experiences you will ever have. You will have to give more of yourself than you ever have before, always with a smile on your face. And the cool part is you will almost always be willing to do it. You will want to do everything you possibly can to help empower each chapter you work with to grow into the best they can be. You will have nights with little to no sleep and days when you just want to curl up in your bed and watch Netflix, but the chapter will need you. On the other hand, please take care of yourself! And if you are a workaholic like me, make sure your teammates know so they can force you to take care of yourself. (Thanks, ladies!)

10. Humility.
While you are a professional consultant, it does not mean you should act like you are better than the chapter women because you have a fancy badge and nametag. You bring new ideas and help promote growth within each chapter because you have been armed with the answers, or at least the ability to find the answers, but it is important to remember that in the end, these women are your sisters, and you want to see them happy, healthy and successful. Being an LC does require the capacity to have fun and be silly. Sometimes the best presentations or activities with a chapter are those that make the women and you laugh. Especially during Recruitment, positivity and a smile are sometimes the most important and necessary components that LCs bring to the table.
 
Now I know you might be thinking, “S.E., I don’t have all of these tools! I could never be an LC.” And to that I say …
 
No person has a complete toolbox! I work on each of these regularly and sometimes fail miserably. It’s important to remember that some tools can do jobs they are not necessarily designed to do. For example, when you don’t have a hammer and need to put a nail in the wall, a good pair of wedges will do the trick. Similarly, when you need to be creative and the juices are just not flowing, using your resources within the Fraternity can be just as beneficial. Keep this in mind as you consider applying to be an LC! You may not have all the tools right now, but I can guarantee that you will develop them during this amazing, hectic, wonderful year.
 
If you are applying to be an LC, I wish you the best of luck! I would not trade this experience for anything. GO KAPPA! GO LC!
 
Loyally,
S.E.

Editor’s Note: The Leadership Consultant application is now available. Deadline to apply is December 1. Visit the Our Team page to learn more about the position and apply today! 

Finding My Seat On The Bus

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By Hana Johnson, Kansas State, 2014–2015 Leadership Consultant

Hana Johnson  

My name is Hana Johnson–my friends call me HJ–and I’m a Kansas gal, born and raised. I guess you could say that I grew up in the flatlands. I like to consider my hometown of Wichita, Kan., to be the heart of the Midwest. No matter which way you look at it, I can guarantee that if you look long enough or hard enough, you’ll find the beauty it has to offer.

In May 2014, I graduated from Kansas State University (go Wildcats!) with a degree in public relations. During my time an undergraduate, I served as Vice President-Organization and Vice President-Standards. My college days taught me that the moments you learn the most from are those when you take a leap of faith and challenge yourself to get out of your comfort zone. I found that my experience as a Kappa challenged me to do just that. As I began my senior year, I began to reflect on all I had learned in college and all that my days as a Kappa had taught me. The challenges I had faced and the life lessons I learned as a result of those challenges are what inspired me to embark on the adventure of being a Leadership Consultant for the Fraternity. The idea of being able to share the lessons I learned and encourage others gave me great excitement, an excitement much like one has on their first day of kindergarten.
 
I remember watching, with great anticipation, the big yellow school bus pull up to the end of our street on my very first day of morning kindergarten. I remember climbing up the steps of that odd smelling, strangely humid school bus and starting the quest to find what I felt was just the right sticky, brown, synthetic leather seat. You know, the one situated about two-thirds of the way back, right above the left-rear wheel of the bus? The one that left you little-to-no leg room, yet for some reason was the seat most coveted by all the elementary school kids below the third grade? Yes, that’s the one. For any of you that have ever had the pleasure of riding the bus to school, I’m sure you can relate. I can remember feeling so small in that moment, but yet thinking to my 5-year-old self that this was the beginning of a brand new adventure.
 
I suppose you could say that the feeling I experienced in that moment, while some days might subside, never completely goes away. Sure, it ebbs and flows, as does most everything in life. But the times when you are reminded of that feeling of smallness, but yet are on the cusp of such a great adventure, are some of the times when life teaches you the most. During my days as an LC, I am often reminded of this feeling.
 
Life as an LC has, thus far, certainly not been easy. Five weeks of Recruitment have come and gone, and I won’t be upset if I never have to see another mini cream puff again. Lack of sleep has become no stranger. Time zones suddenly have become a barrier in communication with friends and family back home. Balancing paperwork and emails for several chapters at a time can become a juggling act at times, and nine meetings in one day has become a normal part of the routine.
 
And there, in the midst of it all, you sometimes begin to wonder if indeed you chose the right seat on the bus on this adventure.
 
However, soon, you also learn that your teammates are feeling the exact same way, and experiencing the exact same things. They are your biggest allies and they need you just as much as you need them. You learn that even though you’ve only spent two weeks total of your lives together, you will be lifelong friends.
 
 You learn that the members of Fraternity Council are used to receiving phone calls at all hours of the night, and that it’s okay to seek help to find the answers. You learn that they’ve been there, they understand, and they’ve got your back.
 
And, perhaps maybe most importantly, you learn that all the struggles, the hard days, the nights of bad dreams or no sleep, the days of playing phone tag with mom when you really need some encouragement, the days when you didn’t get lunch (or dinner), for some reason, are absolutely worth it.
 
Sure, there will be days where everything that can go wrong will indeed go wrong.
 
But then, there will be days when you help a Chapter Council member have an aha! moment after trying to problem solve for an hour and a half. There will be days when you have the chance to go on a bicycle ride with a chapter member and learn more about who they are, which in turn inspires a change within you. There will be days when you get to ride a roller coaster and feel like a kindergartner once again. There will be days when you’re able to experience the richness of being part of an organization so much bigger than yourself. There will be days of self-discovery and self-reflection that will help you become a better version of yourself.
 
As an LC, you’re sure to encounter a few bumps in the road. But looking back to the days on the school bus, the bumps were almost the best part of the ride. The feeling of anticipation in the pit of your stomach as the school bus flew down that really tall hill or bounced over a speed bump was just enough to get you through to the laughter on the other side.
 
And in all honesty, the journey of an LC is one in the same. Sure, there are bumps now and then. But the knowledge that there will be good things waiting on the other side makes the quest to find your seat on the bus worth every bit of time and energy that you invest in it.
 
I feel incredibly lucky to say that, for now, I know I’ve found my perfect seat.
 
Loyally,
Hana

Editor’s Note: The Leadership Consultant application is now available. Deadline to apply is December 1. Visit the Our Team page  to learn more about the position and apply today!

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