I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be now.

John F. Kennedy said: “Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation.” I definitely learned that in college. Being a member of different organizations taught me to leave things better than I found them.

During my first Student Organization Leadership Day (SOLD) conference, Hannah Brencher spoke. (btw I loveeeee her! She is phenomenal and the things she has accomplished have just blown me away!) I saw her again at Alpha Gam’s International Convention last summer. She has this talk on how to “get relentless.” Every time I heard those two words, I took away something new.

South held two SOLD conferences and I had the opportunity to attend both years. It’s only one day, but you get sooo much of it. Both years they chose really great key speakers. At my second SOLD conference, James T. Robilotta shared a quote from Mumford and Sons about “where you invest your love, you invest your life.” I definitely tried to do that. I learned a lot from those conferences. Especially when planning, which I did a lot of, in the organizations that I was a part of.

  1. Plan early. (Things happen. Back up plans are essential, sometimes the back up plan turns out better than the original.)
  2. Create a realistic budget.
  3. Publicize. (From making flyers or hand-outs to emails to social media and chalking the campus to sheet signs…Ohhh the sheet signs! I didn’t even know that was a thing until college, but I learned real fast how to paint one of those.)
  4. Evaluate then say thank you. Make sure to credit where it’s due. Nothing happens alone.
  5. Build positive brand image. (This is my favorite part of public relations. I love that everything is connected and works together. I love when things match the values and heart of an organization.)

I’ve definitely learned a lot that I know helped me in those organizations. I know they will help me in my career life too. I am so thankful to South Alabama for the opportunities I have and for all I’m learning here, inside the classroom and outside. Now that I know this is where You wanted me to be, here’s my Camp Rock jam!

So, that is my prayer today. Thank you for leading me to this university. Thank you for the opportunities I have here. Thank you for giving me the courage to speak. Thank you for helping me find a home here. Thank you for giving me the confidence I needed. Thank you for showing me the light. Thank you for guiding my path. Thank you for being the voice in my head and showing me the words to the song I was meant to sing. Thank you for creating a purpose in me. I pray that I continue to follow you.  And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

The house that built me.

Seventeen Magazine posted an article called “10 life lessons you learn from being in a sorority” by Alexandra Martell & Tess Koman. So it got me thinking about what I have learned being in Alpha Gamma Delta. (Plus as usual I love lists!)

1. “When you see a leadership opportunity, take it.”

Way to start off! I think that every single office is important and each office can make a difference. You can take any office and impact the entire function of the chapter. (Give them an inch and they can create miles.) Each office you take or committee you join or chair you lead will teach you something new.

2. “Time management is so important.”

With study hours, service hours, meetings, and so many events, you have to schedule and plan. If you want to go to that sisterhood event or that football game then you best get your homework done before you go. (My daddy taught me that!) I read one time that time should be seen as money. It was such a simple concept, that my time is worth something and I should use it sparingly and invest it.

3. “Being good at small talk is a difficult and underrated life skill.”

They talked about this at the SOLD conference on campus. The main speaker was James T. Robilotta and one of the sessions he did was about networking. In the session, he talked about how introverts don’t like small talk because they like in-depth conversations with a few people. I couldn’t agree more but being in Alpha Gamma Delta I learned how to reach out of my comfort zone and talk to people I don’t know. (Turns out there are some pretty great people out there if you just talk to them.)

4. “You are able to fake confidence like a champ.”

Let’s face it, I am pretty stinkin amazing, but there are days when I think the whole world is against me. Sometimes you just have to push through and fake it ’til you make it.

5. “Networking is invaluable.”

In the networking session they talked about the “why.” The “why” you do what you do is the most important. It is was connects us as human beings and sets us apart as individuals.

6. “You don’t have to be friends with everyone.”

Could someone have told me this in middle school? (It would have saved me a lot of trouble!)

7. “But you do have to know how to be nice—not fake—to people you don’t like.”

Isn’t that a concept? I’ve heard too many times that being nice to everyone is fake, but it’s not. It’s part of growing up.

8. “You can be charitable in ways you didn’t realize you could be.”

There are so many ways to get involved. Sometimes it just takes one person to step up and say “hey, I wanna do this.”

9. “You can be a role model, even when you don’t feel that special.”

I am reminded of this constantly! You never know when people are watching. You are leading people with every action, every word, every breath. Take the time to value the impact and legacy you are leaving.

10. “You are always capable of more than you think.”

I learned this big time. These women have pushed me harder and expected more out of me that I could ever imagine, but you know what? I thrived and even when I didn’t think I was going to, someone was there to help me.

So, this is my prayer today. Thank you for teaching me and leading me. Thank you for the opportunities that I have been given. Thank you for putting the right people in my life. Thank you for showing me your love and mercy through them. I pray that they continue to thrive and impact the world. I pray that they know just how wonderful they are. I pray they see just how blessed they are. Thank you for the past few years here. Thank you for letting me grow here. Thank you for everything I learned here. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.