A few months ago I signed up for a program called “Leadershape.” Everything I had ever heard about this program was “I can’t explain it, but it changes your life.” That isn’t very descriptive… Going into this ‘life changing program’ I didn’t know what to expect. I assumed it would be an awesome experience but I under estimated the impact the program would have on me. Being the skeptic that I am, I was hesitant to dive right into the program. I found myself sitting back and watching. That was my biggest regret of the week. This week I surrounded myself with some of the most kind hearted and impactful people I have ever experienced. Leadershape opened my eyes to myself. It showed me that I have the ability to stand up for what I believe in, stick to my core values and do something amazing in the world.
My sophomore year of college was extremely difficult. It put me in a bad place. This school year forced me to second guess myself. I felt lost. I felt dumb. It drained me of the enthusiasm for life I once had. This week rejuvenated me. I feel enabled, confident and that I have a million options again.
Leadershape is something I wouldn’t trade for the world. Everyone should experience this program. It is amazing how much of a change I felt and saw not just in myself but the entire group.
Now I plan on being an active citizen to conquering my dreams. In my perfect world children would never spend anytime waiting in the foster care/adoption system. Every person/couple seeking to create a family would choose to adopt instead of having a biological child. A family is a family, whether it’s biological or not.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”
Oh debate class. Debate taught me one major thing: when I have to argue in front of a group I shut down. Entering this class I was terrified. I have had no prior debate experience and so this learning environment was very hard for me. It was taught at more of an application class. He’d teach us the theories to debate. Since I had no prior experience, I didn’t even know where to apply these techniques. It was a hard class that I struggled in. I just memorized terms to get through it.
PSY 100 L
If feels funny reflecting on a course that I have not had in four years but it seems fit that in my final semester I would have to dig into my freshman year binders. Much to my surprise the dusty, stuffed binders that comforted me for the first year of my college career were hiding under my childhood home’s bed. “PSY 100 L” still read across the front. This binder was a mix of notes from my AP Psychology class in high school and the ones from college. My high school teacher prepared me well for one of my first college classes.
PSY 100L is a cohort class completed the second semester of the cohort’s freshman year. That class was another great opportunity to connect with my other cohort members while in an academic setting. This course taught us the basics of “why people do what they do” this is extremely helpful in leadership situations.
LDR 100 L
Leadership at its basics. LDR100, which thinking about it now, I don’t know its real name. This class’s best feature was it brought the cohort together. This class was our first meeting point. We learned each others names, learned who works well with who and met some of our forever friends. We had guest speakers come in to teach us about multiple opportunities on campus. Another added benefit to LDR100 was we got to bond with the LI’s staff. Going into 2nd semester I feel that I have better connections with Dan, Jesi and Katy now.
LDR 200 L
This course was by far one of my favorite classes. Maybe it is because Jesi knew how to make us want to be in a Wednesday night class or maybe it was that my T.A. was also my best friend. There were a lot of factors that went into making LDR 200 an enjoyable time. Each week a group would begin the class with an ice breaker. They ranged from moving life savers with tooth picks in a line to a “step into the circle” activity. Another group would present an interactive lesson on different leadership theories. This course taught me valuable future skills such as teamwork, collaboration and presentation skills.
HST 110 L
The first question I asked going into HST 110 L was “I have to buy how many books?” HST 110 L focused on the American experience. One of the most powerful assignments that came out of this class was our final presentation on an American leader. Students picked leaders from Walt Disney to Steve Jobs. I chose Jackie Kennedy Onassis. She can be credited with the development of not only woman’s fashion during the 60’s but also how woman leaders are perceived. That project required me to read several biographies and articles about Jacqueline.
COM 461 L
Pairing a 400 level course with working Academic Orientation was not my brightest idea but it challenged me to stay organized and on top of my assignments. I also thought I would know almost everything about this course… But I did not. Each week a group would use a style of leadership and put it into a dialogue. This course challenged me to not always default to “transformational leadership” as my answer. This expanded my knowledge and application of leadership in real life scenarios. It was also a fun experience of seeing how my fellow Orientation mentors displayed the different leadership theories.