This past fall semester the LAS cohort went to the Connection’s Conference in Travers City, Michigan. Many groups from Central Michigan University met at the Great Wolf Lodge for a fun-filled weekend to learn about leadership styles, hear words of encouragement, and learn more about ourselves. A big thing that I focused on is how to learn to be more effective with my time. I was able to attended two key speakers that gave me great insight on how to be more useful with my time in every day life. It was also a great bonding experience for our cohort, and to make connections with people through other leadership communities on campus. From spending as many hours in the water park as possible( I acted like a little kid in a candy store) to playing hide and go seek in the resort’s lobby, I would say it was definitely a successful weekend. The memories I made, learning how to properly talk to other leaders, and gaining information to succeed in the real world, I felt like a new person the morning I got on the charter bus to head back to Central Michigan University.
As a Leadership Advancement Scholar, I had the incredible opportunity to have received an amazing mentor. Being apart of Leadership Advancement Scholarship Program, it is a tradition to have a mentor your freshman year and then the next year I will receive my own mentee. To start the year off and gain a close relationship between all of the mentors and mentees, the freshman and sophomore cohorts went on a retreat to a place called Eagle Village. Once we got to Eagle Village we were all put into groups in which we would be apart of for the entire weekend. Great memories were made through leadership activities, team bonding, s’more making, and sharing laughs with one another. Over the course of both days, the sophomore cohort truly expressed to us freshman how privileged we are to be involved with something so amazing, which really became clear once the retreat had come to a closing. Everyone gained something through this experience and for me the mentor/mentee retreat showed me what my strengths/weaknesses are as a leader, how to be a positive person in and out of the classroom, and the importance of spreading happiness in life. From rock-climbing to laughing so hard on the ropes course that I have a bladder accident, this retreat was a memory that I will never forget. This was a unique bonding experience with my mentor that has led into an amazing friendship. Now I just have to wait until next year when I receive my own mentee. I will be there for my mentee just like my mentor has been there for me through my freshman year in LAS and college in general.
College is one of the biggest life changing events that I have every gone through, that is absolutely a fact. Given the opportunity to attend something such as Leadership Safari was truly an incredible transition into college. I left my small home town of Imlay City, Michigan on August 16th, and moved into my new home of Barnes Hall at Central Michigan University. As a freshman at Central Michigan University, I chose to attend the one and only Leadership Safari and it has been one of the best choices I’ve made in college so far. I showed up to CMU my first day, and within an hour had already made at least twenty friends. The love and support I received from my Safari guide and Safari team was more than I could have every imagined. Even the small things meant a lot, such as the creative Leafy Sea Dragon(my Safari Team) taped outside my door with my name on it. The whole week was filled with getting acquainted with the beautiful campus, learning about myself, and gaining friendships that I will have for the rest of my life. I learned where important locations were on campus, smart tools to survive my classes, how to handle stress, and gain life-long friends through the entire week. Also, the beginning of my transition to college was a very vulnerable time for me.
Because of that, I was truly blessed to have my Safari Guide teach me the ways of getting around campus, the what not and what to dos, and just how to make it through my first year. The support of my fellow safari participants, safari leader, and core guide really gave the the inspiration and push to make it through my first semester of college with a spark that never died out. I have and will continue to tell ANY incoming freshman to go through Leadership Safari. Being a step ahead at the beginning of the year gets you that much closer to the finish line!