During my interview for Presidential Leadership Fellows last week, I was asked if I’d change anything about my time at UCA. I stopped to think for a few seconds, but I realized there isn’t anything I’d change. I have seen an immense amount growth in myself during my years at UCA. In high school, I spent all my time studying, but in college I have taken the opportunity to step outside my comfort zone by joining different organizations and meeting new people, something I never did in high school.
The first step outside was to run for a freshmen position on the SGA. I ended up winning the election, but I wasn’t so lucky at my next election. I lost the election for sophomore class president, and, afterward, I decided not to run for SGA again.
I decided to join Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority instead. Through this organization, I’ve learned how to be intentional with my friendships, and the women in this sorority continue to inspire me every day. One thing that stuck out to me about Alpha Sigma Alpha is that they push members to achieve their full potential.
The women in this sorority are the leaders, so I should have known I wasn’t done with SGA. My sorority sisters saw potential in me and encouraged me to run again, and for that I’m forever grateful.
I attribute much of my growth in college to my time spent in the Student Government Association. As a freshmen, I was nervous to speak during senate meetings, but now I'm giving reports each week, making motions and sometimes helping run the meetings. Additionally, once when the SGA president was sick, I ran a whole meeting in his place.
Additionally, I am the only woman serving on the executive board. I had to learn how to speak up, even if my ideas are met with opposition. I realized if I don't say anything, then it's possible no one else will. I'm very proud of my growth. I've also become more assertive, and I stick up for myself now.
Through SGA I also learned how strong I am. Last semester was extremely difficult for me because I had to transition from SGA vice president of operations to executive vice president. Within the span of two weeks, I had to learn my new position, run elections for the new vice president of operations, teach the new vice president of operations the job responsibilities and oversee the duties of both of these positions. I was overwhelmed but I kept pushing through. I learned that with determination and passion, I can do almost anything.
One of the largest leaps I took while at UCA was to sign up for a study abroad trip without knowing anyone who was also going. I ended up meeting someone on the trip who is now one of my best friends.
In high school all I did was study, but at UCA I’ve taken several steps to get involved on campus. Stepping outside my comfort zone scares me, but I continue to do it because I think the most growth comes from pressing one’s limits.