Tuesday/Thursday 8am philosophy with the one and only, Gary Fuller. I don’t know if there could have been a better way to start my Tuesdays and Thursdays. While this class was hectic and was often times hard to keep focus in, it really did allow me to think about important issues. We discussed euthanasia, capitol punishment, “hooking up,” homosexuality, and many others. While I had though about most of these things form time to time, there were some issues that I was personally undecided on whether or not I thought they were morally acceptable or not. This class really got me thinking and now I can confidently state my stance on these issues. I believe that it is very important for each individual to have educated beliefs on important issues, and this class allowed us to do just that.
The only girl I know who can wear crocs and still look cute.
I have enjoyed my time so much being a mentor to Faith, and I can’t wait until she also gets to be a mentor! I was pretty nervous at first because I didn’t know if Faith would like me, or if we would get along, but we do, and it’s great! While we don’t see each other nearly enough thanks to our busy and conflicting schedules, when we do see each other, we could talk for hours and not get sick of each other. We are there for one another when we need it and quickly resolve conflict whenever it arises. I am so thankful for Faith and the positivity that she has brought into my life.
My involvement with the Student Environmental Alliance started last spring semester when I started to go to meetings with my friend Brennah. This year, when I don’t have any work conflicts, I attend the SEA meetings, and try to attend all of their events. Protecting the environment and educating myself on important environmental issues is something that is very central to me, and being apart of SEA allows me to do both of those things. SEA offers a variety of different experiences at their meetings. They show documentaries, have guest speakers come in, and discuss/plan upcoming events at their meetings. My favorite part about this group is that they don’t stop at advocating for environmental rights to the students, but they have held meetings several times with President Ross and other administrators to talk about issues, like CMU’s controversial investments, and the sale of plastic water bottles on campus. I am excited to continue to be a part of this organization, and am especially excited to see what is planned for Earth Week coming up in April!
Members of SEA participating in the Million Student March on Campus.
This year, to meet our residential living requirement, I am living in Sweeney Hall with two other LASers and one other girl. I met Sam and Chelsea the first day I moved into Barnes last year, and we have been friends every since, and I met Sara shortly thereafter. Having friendly roommates this year makes a world of difference for me from last year when I had a rather unpleasant living experience in Barnes. Being friends with my roommates and having a shared respect for each other is something I have really enjoyed about this year. While I’m excited to move out of the dorms, I will definitely miss living with these girls next year.
In the beginning of the year, I was definitely shy and I feel like I missed out on many opportunities because of that. But, starting second semester, I have come out of my shell and have grown as a person, and a leader.
Looking back at the post I made about my new year resolutions in January, I said that I wanted to become less of a hermit and take every opportunity that came my way, and I feel that I have done just that. I still have the need to get more involved, and hold a leadership position on campus, but compared to where I was only a few months ago, I have made definite progress toward my goal.
In that post, I also said that I needed to surround myself with more positive people who could help me become more involved, and just a better person in general. I said that in order to do this, I need to gain the self confidence in order to put myself out there to meet new people. Over this past semester, I really did gain a lot of confidence. I remember the one night in January that I told myself I was going to go downstairs, go into someones room, and start talking, and hopefully become better friends. I was so nervous, but because I jumped out of my comfort zone that night, I made friends that I still have today. I’m so thankful that I made that leap that one night in January because I got what I needed: positive people to help me sucseed. Since then, I have gotten to know a lot more people and jumped out of my comfort zone even further.
In January, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to share in 2015, and to be honest, I’m really still not sure. But, I did say that I wanted to give off positive and welcoming vibes since I knew how good it felt when other people welcomed me. I really have made an effort to always do that, and compliment people or ask how their day is going. I guess a new goal I have though, would be to give my time as much as possible. After going on our LAS service trip to Detroit, I realized just how important it is to volunteer and be a servant leader. I plan to volunteer a lot of my time over the summer at my church, St. John’s Episcopal Church, and around my own community.
I stated that my ultimate goal for 2015 was simply to have a positive attitude and become a better me. I feel like I have accomplished that thus far in the year. I believe that having a good attitude and outlook is the most important part of accomplishing anything.
I incorporated my favorite quote in my January post, and it is still relevant today (and will be forever):
I still use this quote to motivate myself, and I think of it whenever I want to accomplish anything. I am the one in charge of my own life, so I can dictate the outcome.
In preparation for our service trip to Detroit within my LAS cohort (which I am super excited about) we have a pre-trip blog post to reflect on Detroit before we get there. This trip will be a wonderful experience for everyone involved. we will get to facilitate leadership exercises with students from the Jalen Rose Leadership academy, and help out with labor work for the Motor City Blight Busters.
I’ve been to Detroit plenty of times in my life, but mostly to attend Tigers or Wings games, or visit the DAI. So I really haven’t been really seen the “bad” parts of Detroit. I do know that Detroit has a poor reputation and derogatory terms such as “the ghetto” are often associated with the city. I know there are plenty of underdeveloped poor areas within the city, but there are also some very nice areas that may not be as populated. There are also many homeless people around the city. Whenever I attend a sporting event, there area always plenty of people on the sidewalks that might have signs asking for money on the way to the games. In err of all the negative aspects of Detroit, I do know that they are in the process fo rebuilding the city, and returning it to its former glory.
The vision and purpose of the Leadership Institute are what drives what the LI does and what the goals are.
PURPOSE: Central Michigan University is committed to preparing Michigan’s students and citizens for leadership roles in an increasingly complex and challenging society.
VISION: The Leadership Institute prepares the next generation of individuals who will act responsibly to improve the quality of life, state of the economy, and communities in which they live and work.
The service work that we are going to be doing on this trip really relates to the purpose and vision of the Leadership Institute. Obviously, there are changes happening in the Detroit area, and that brings challenges and complexity. That is one of the main reasons we are going on this trip. That relates to the Purpose of the LI. WE need to be prepared to handle challenging situations with poise, and this trip is definitely going to prepare us to someday handle this as a leader. The trip also relates to the Vision because one of the biggest reasons we are going on this trip is to better the Detroit community. I hope this trip will teach us the importance of service, and we can carry this value with us into adulthood where we can all incorporate service into our future communities.
I am so excited for this trip, not only to spend the weekend with some of my favorite people on the planet, but because I can wait to experience a great sense of giving. I have done volunteer work in the past, but I haven’t really gone to other communities, especially like Detroit. I’m excited to learn about and dive into this different culture and atmosphere, and I really do think that it will help me grow as a person just by being involved in a different scene than CMU. I can’t wait to experience this service with my LAS cohort, and I am so excited help make a better Detroit.
If you have never visited www.ted.com, I strongly urge you to check it out and become inspired. This “Ted Talk” reflection is based off of a video by Simon Sinek. In this video, “How Great Leaders Inspire Action,” Sinek explains the reason behind why extraordinary people can achieve the unthinkable and the differences between how they versus normal people think, act and communicate. He came up with what he called “the worlds simplest idea,” the Golden Circle.The Golden Circle Using the circle,he explains that every one on earth knows what they do, most people know how they do it, but very few people know why they do what they do. He explains that the average people or companies start with the clear answers on the outside of the circle to the unclear inside. Great leaders who inspire people, on the other hand, communicate from the inside out. He explains that this is how Apple excels in business compared to another computer company; they don’t just explain what products they have, but rather why they made these products, and this makes the buyer more interested in the product and more willing to buy. He also uses the Wright Brothers as an example. They succeeded in flying the first airplane because they were driven by the belief that they could change the world, not by a desire to become wealthy.
Next, he talks about the Law of Diffusion of Innovation (pictured left.) In our population there are innovators, early adaptors, early majority, late majority, and lagers. The first two groups are the ones who are more comfortable going off of their gut feeling. They are the people who do things for themselves, not for others. These are the people who attended MLK’s speech in the middle of August not for MLK, but for themselves.
This presentation really got me thinking. Throughout the video, Sinek kept repeating the phrase, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” He uses a lot of business and commercial examples, but this applies to our daily lives, too. This made me realize that if I don’t know why I’m doing something, I might as well not be doing it. I think everyone should all know their reasons why just so that we know why exactly we need to get through each day. Within my leadership cohort, we all made our own “why” statements regarding how we want to inspire others. Our statements are kind of like a motivation for why we do what we do: lead.
My why statement is Inspire others to always feel extraordinary and important in whatever they choose to do in life.
My “why” statement keeps me on my toes about how I interact with other people and how I might make them feel. I strongly believe that every one should feel important and special for at least one thing in their, and I have made it my goal to make everyone feel that way. Whether it be just saying hi to someone in the hallway, or engaging in deep conversation with a peer, I want to make sure everyone feels a since of belonging. My “why” definitely isn’t the same as Apple’s, or MLK’s, but it has the same concept. I know what I am doing, I know how I am doing it, and now, I have a reason why.
Hockey is a man’s sport– no time for feelings or emotions. Everyone involved in hockey is cocky and ignores feelings and only cares about the game.
That’s what we’re made to think about this sport, and while some aspects of that still may be slightly true, Detroit Red Wings coach, Mike Babcock, is speaking out and making change to raise awareness about mental health/illness and the negative stigmas that are attached by participating in Bell Let’s Talk Day. His main goal is simply to get people to realize that there’s nothing wrong with feeling low, but that they shouldn’t let that make them feel weak and like they can’t talk to anyone. For every tweet with the tag #BellLetsTalk on January 28, 5 cents will be donated to various mental health programs in Canada.
Babcock really inspires me as a leader in this. He has not only declared himself a great leader in the world of hockey, as the Wings head coach for quite some time now, but he is also declaring his leadership through this cause. The fact that he has seen how different types of mental sickness can effect individuals and families and the fact that he not only wants to change the way people think about mental illness, but that he is actually doing something to create change is really what makes him a leader to me. Not only that, but he is also going against the grain of what we all think of hockey players and coaches: that there is no time for playing with emotions or depression. That is what really makes him stick out to me. People will obviously be motivated to follow him and want to support this cause, for a couple reasons. 1, he is the head coach of the Red Wings, of course people are going to look up to him. This could also mean that people who might still associate negativity with mental illness might look at it differently if the head coach of a pro hockey team feels this way about it. 2, in his interview he makes note that everyone has problems, no matter how big or small, but if we think we can take care of them ourselves, we are wrong. Talking to people about our issues doesn’t make us a weaker person, but it really makes us stronger. Any person could relate to that and want to support that, even if they had no idea he was affiliated with the Wings.
I know that this whole #BellLetsTalk thing has affected me in a good way because it really is a good and necessary reminder to hear that everyone struggles with something and that it is okay to talk about it. I’m also really glad that money is being donated to mental illness programs so that people who really need the help can get it easier. I hope this awareness campaign has also positively influenced other people in the same way it has for me. The organization has raised $67.5 million for mental health over the years and I think that’s amazing. Hopefully someday, the stigma connected to mental illness will be completely gone, but until then, I am grateful there are campaigns such as these to promote the well-being of others.
In 2015, I want to achieve personal and professional growth. 2014 was a hard year for me in regards of adjusting to the college lifestyle, but now that I have better understanding of how things work, I want to really want to grow and discover who I truly am and what exactly my passions are. In addition to that I really just want to become more involved. My first semester, I found myself becoming a hermit, and I just really don’t want to continue with that type of lifestyle. I want to make stronger relationships and take every opportunity I can get, not just watch them go by like I did before.
This year, I need to surround myself with more positive people who are just as interested in getting involved and personal growth as I am. In order for that, I also need to gain the self-confidence to put myself out there more so I wont be a hermit anymore.
To be completely honest, I can’t come up with a good answer to what I want to share in 2015. I guess one thing I can come up with is sharing positive/welcoming vibes and emotions to others. Since I did struggle a lot my first semester, I know how good it felt when someone would ask me how my day was or compliment me. I want to make it my goal to spread that positivity to others because you never know what type of situation is going on in someone’s personal life.
I will succeed in doing all of the things I have previously stated, as well as just becoming a more positive, better and healthier me. I believe you cant be at your greatest potential if you don’t have a positive mindset towards everything you do, so that is my ultimate goal for 2015.
This quote by Dr. Seuss in Oh! The Places You’ll Go, although it may seem trite or childish, is really one of the quotes that keeps me motivated. It is by far my favorite quote of all time. It just reminds me that no matter what, I am the only person who controls what I do, feel and say. Basically, life is what I make it and I’m striving to make it better everyday.
Alpha Leadership is a program at CMU open to anyone who wants to improve and learn more about their leadership skills, as well as learn the different kinds of leadership styles. We met every Thursday from 6-8 pm for 5 weeks throughout October and every week, there was a different dress theme (which made it super fun.) (This week’s theme was USA) There were about 5 or 6 different groups made up of around 10 participants and two facilitators to lead the groups throughout the various activities. We did various icebreakers, but we also did activities that I had never done. The group I was in was the “yellow” team, but we took it upon ourselves to rename the group “Gucci Gold Bananas.” My group clicked instantly and we all made sure everyone had a great experience. I really wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about it, because, just like during Safari, I didn’t know if I would enjoy myself since I really didn’t know what exactly to expect or who to expect.
I did end up having a great time though and a lot of that is really because my group was so fantastic. The facilitators led us through every exercise well, but we still had a blast doing it, making jokes and really getting to know one another. One of the nights, we took a leadership style quiz, and I found out what leadership style I was and that is very helpful to know, so you can see how to improve and what your strengths/weaknesses are more.
For the fall of 2015, I want to apply to become an Alpha Leadership Facilitator because I want to not only go through the entire experience again, but I want to make the experience as good, or even better than mine was. It’s a great program and I would sincerely recommend it to any one at Central. Its not just another leadership thing we were required to do, it was a whole experience of growth as a person as well as a leader and I am so glad that I was a part of Alpha.