A part of the Leadership Advancement Protocol is to attend the Connections Conference at the Great Wolf Lodge. This conference is to make connections with other leaders on campus and to find resources that are available to anyone to utilize. I was very excited for this conference in particular because ever since I was a lil youngster, I have always wanted to visit the Great Wold Lodge. I used to listen to my friends talk about how they always went on vacation with their families to the lodge and how it was so much fun. I sadly never had the opportunity to go until the Connections Conference. Dreams really do come true. Not only did I discover recourses available to me at my university as well as meet new and amazing people, I was able to fulfill a life long dream all thanks to the leadership institute. This experience taught me that there are so many people and organizations on campus that I can go to when I need help or the need to better my community. It also showed me that amazing things can happen when you work hard and never give up.
As a Leadership Advancement Scholar I was required to take the Psych 100 Leadership class to become one step closer in completing a minor in Leadership. This class taught me that a leader must understand the theories of psychology in order to truly lead because to understand people and the way they think allows you to keep an open mind. Before I took this class, I had no idea how leadership and psychology correlated, and was very interested in learning. Being someone who comes from a very diverse school and holding leadership positions within my student organizations, I understand how the different theories of psychology can influence leadership behavior. Taking the knowledge I have gained from this class, I will apply it to my everyday life and continue to grow as a leader.
Being A Leadership Advancement Scholar, you have the perk of receiving a mentor a few weeks before you begin college. The purpose of this is to have someone to answer questions about school, help you become acclimated to campus life, and to just be a friend. Some of the mentor and mentee relationships do not become more than just text messages, while others develop into meaningful and lasting friendships. My mentor relationship is a little different from others because I received my mentor late, as well as having to share her. Another Leadership student had the same mentor as me due to the amount of mentors available. This did not affect me being able to build a relationship with my mentor, in fact it made the experience so much better. I not only got a mentor, but an additional unexpected friend who is referred to as my twin. After weeks of us communicating via group message, school began and soon after it was time for our mentor/mentee retreat. This is where our relationship truly began to grow into what it is today. The retreat is meant for the mentor’s and mentee’s to build trust in one another as well as learn to communicate. The retreat was full of activities that tested our skills as leaders and pushed us to our limits. At times I felt overwhelmed and ready to give up, but my mentor was their to keep me on my feet. She showed me that there will be bumps in the road but no matter how difficult something may be, we can’t give up; Especially when we have friends who have our backs. I reached a whole new level of friendship because of the retreat, and I feel as though I can accomplish anything knowing that I have an incredible support system to assist me through my struggles.
When I was first accepted into Central Michigan University, I was ecstatic. Along with a few other colleges, central was one of my top choices. In the end, I chose CMU, and my college advisor told me of a program called Leadership Safari. It is a program for incoming freshman and begins a week before classes. This program would enable me to move in early, and I would undergo leadership training as well as getting acclimated to campus. At first, I was indifferent about attending the program as I thought it was going to be like every other leadership seminar I had attended; I was really only going for the perk of moving in early and becoming familiar with campus. As I reflect on my decision to attend Leadership Safari, I now believe that it is one of the best decisions I have made on the path to becoming a better me. Attending Safari changed the perspective I had about going to college. I realized that I needed to make the decisions that are best for me and leave no regrets behind. I also realized that I can’t go to school for something that I’m not passionate about, which I almost made the mistake of doing. Leadership Safari not only opened my mind to follow my passions, but opened my heart to new friends. I made truly meaningful relationships and life long companions. The over all experiance prepared me for my years to come at CMU and I am thankful for having been given the opportunity to grow as an individual.