I was both completely terrified and completely excited to participate in Leadership Safari 2014. I was all by myself with nearly 2,000 people I didn’t know and I really had no idea what to expect. Safari consisted of several different activities with all 2000 of us and with our small groups made up of about 10 other random participants. I figured I probably wouldn’t have a good time because I wouldn’t know anyone in my group and I wouldn’t like doing activities and icebreakers with them, but as the week went on, I realized that everyone else was in the same boat as me. They were all alone, for the most part, and were probably uncomfortable at the beginning, too.
The experience turned out to be completely amazing though, and I’m so glad I attended and opened up to what started as a group of 10 strangers, but ended up being a group of 10 friends, and my first friends here at CMU. I realized the importance and necessity of being comfortable in situations that make me uncomfortable. If I would have went through the Safari process without being friendly and opening up to others, I wouldn’t have some of the great friends I have today and I would have started out my journey at CMU in a miserable way.
I applied to be a Safari guide for 2015, and I hope that if I get the opportunity to be a guide, I can share my story with my group of 10 strangers and hopefully make them feel more comfortable during their start at CMU.