Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Dangling on a High Wire

This past weekend was one of the best of my life! I had the pleasure of spending 48 hours with 29 other amazing Leonards and learned a little bit about myself as well.

The campus transit bus took off at 2:00 p.m. and I can't say that I was looking forward to a four hour drive on a bus that usually drives around in a circle all day. The front of the bus was pretty chill. Most of us were reading or playing on our phones while the back of the bus was playing Catchphrase! We made our way to Chick-fil-A's Winshape Camp located at Berry College. I never went to camp growing up, so it was fun to get to experience it for a weekend.

Our theme for the weekend was Treasure Quest. We made the comparison that 5 year olds treasure objects that they can put in a bag and carry around with them while 95 year olds enjoy the memories they have made throughout a lifetime. In between those two time periods, our treasure changes. I realized that I want to make sure that my family always stays in the forefront of my mind. I want to have stability in my life, but there are very few aspects of my job that I am particular about because I know a job is just going to lead me to that stability which is more important to me.

I was questioning myself on Friday because I know that servitude is also very important to my future career goals. I came up with the crazy idea to start my own foundation but I am not really sure how to even move my life in that direction. By the end of the weekend, I realized that it starts with taking the first step.

Saturday, our day was full of low and high ropes courses. I enjoyed getting to feel like a child again, playing games on the field like it was recess. The Black Team also started to work together in a few of the team challenges. At lunch, I told everyone the old wives tale that my name use to be "Danger", so now I have another nickname to add to the list. We had the high ropes course in the afternoon and I was much more nervous than I was expecting. On all three of the obstacles, I stopped about halfway up because I was really questioning if I wanted to complete these challenges. The Black Team was great about encouraging all the members and those 9 other people are why I got through the high ropes course.

Black Team
The most rewarding experience was the Saturday night lecture. We all brought a momento to share with the group. It was an object from our life representing a story that we wanted to share with the group. I learned so much about the 29 other Leonards during this conversation. What I really wanted to convey with my story is that even though I am shy, I want to experience life to the fullest. Once again, I realized that it starts with the taking the first step.

Sunday was the final day of the retreat. It was enjoyable because our class finally got to assume our role as "official" Leonards and start to plan the upcoming year. My reflection from the weekend is much more then I will share here. My biggest take away is that in order to live life I can't be scared to take the first step. I have to live with intention and even if I don't know where the path leads I have to believe that the first step is headed in the right direction. Before this retreat, I thought my mantra for the year would be "Go Big or Go Home". I think believing in having a purpose in life and intentionally trying to reach that purpose are a much better use of my efforts.

This weekend I challenged myself. I was truly dangling on a high wire trying to figure out the best way to reach my goal. I feel more confident about myself after this weekend. It is 48 hours that I will never forget!

High Wire

Friday, January 6, 2012

Dangling through 2011

I made plans to hang out with my roommate on New Year's Eve and due to certain circumstances, we ended up meeting to get ice cream. She told me how she had written a post reflecting on 2011 and I thought it was a great idea. Well, 6 days into 2012 here are I reflecting on the previous year.

When I actually started thinking about this post, I didn't think that 2011 was any different from the other 21 years in my life. Wrong: if I truly reflect on everything that happened this year, I realize that I made 2011 worthwhile and a year to remember.

Pulling out all the stops to get bundled up!
It started off with a bang in January with Snowpocalypse. I was already back in Athens when we got more than 8 inches of snow and school was called off for three days. I spent the time counting all the money from the Gift Wrap Fundraiser and hanging out in the Deeg with about 70 other sisters. By the time school started everyone was ready to get back to work!

At the end of January, I finally got up the nerve to ask a guy to our Hawks Date Night. It was pretty fun up until the point we had to walk all the way around Philips Arena in the monsoon. In the end, I learned to figure out where the buses are going to be located before getting off. I also learned that in order to live a fulfilling life sometimes you have to step out of your shell and I think that stuck with me for the rest of the year.

March was ordinary. I came home for Spring Break and made the decision to drop Tax Accounting. Some of the stress from 2010 had carried over into 2011, so I had to do something to get myself back on track. April is usually a month of stress. There were Delta Gamma events everywhere and I was gearing up for finals after my first semester of Accounting classes. I came home for Easter but it was one of those times where I was just waiting to get back to Athens because I couldn't let myself get out of finals mode.

May: I finished the semester off somewhat to my liking and attended my first wedding for a sorority sister. It was a month to rejuvenate before starting my job. I also got to spend a week at the beach with my dad's family. I absolutely love my little cousins and getting to see them grow up.
Throughout June and July, I worked 8 hours a day, five days a week trying to make enough money to live on throughout the semester. I realized that I never wanted to be forced to nanny/babysit again and I also took notes on how I want to raise my own children. I read all the Harry Potter books for the first time.
I started off August with Spirit Week and Recruitment for Delta Gamma. It was great knowing what to expect this year and we ended up getting over 70 amazing new Delta Gammas. We started back to classes and I once again was taking Tax Accounting. I also started my first Leonard class. I was accepted into a Scholars program where we learn about personal and organizational leadership. In the end I wrote a book on my leadership style and I how I wanted to contribute to the world.
In September, I once again asked a different guy to our Braves Date Night. I am getting pretty good at spur of the moment type stuff...I had a friend cheering me on haha :) My Leonard class also started on our Capstone Service Learning project. We are working with Classic City High School which is a school in Athens for disengaged students. I worked with the team building group to prepare exercises for the school. I definitely saw another side of Athens and it sparked my interest in working with education during my career.
October is another one of those months that just blows by because there is so much stuff going on. I met with the namesake of the my leadership program Mr. Leonard and it was one of those days where he said exactly what I needed to hear. His best piece of advice was "the only place you can't get out of is jail, so don't go there, but anywhere else is free game." Delta Gamma also hosted our annual fall philanthropy event, Low Country Boil. We raised over $7,000 for Service for Sight and the Guide Dog Foundation and I got to spend some time with my dad who came to help cook. I went to the mountains with a few girls and celebrated my roommate's 21st birthday. My grandlittles got initiated into the sisterhood I adore so much. And last but not least, I went to my first Georgia Florida game. It was a weekend to remember for sure and we won the game which makes it even better.
November was another fun month. I turned 21 and my roommate and I went out together for the first time. I asked yet another guy to Delta Gamma's Hayride event. Thought that third time was going to be charm and it a way. I had the best time I had ever had at an event but it came with me knowing that this guy was never going to be anything more than a good friend. I studied most of Thanksgiving break because it was getting down to the wire again. I had survived most of the semester in Tax Accounting but I can't say that it made my life fun.
I went back to school for two weeks in December. I participated in Shop with a Bulldawg which is an organization that my freshman year roommate started. I once again saw a truer side of Athens and wanted to continue to explore a career in education. I took my finals and waited anxiously for the results. I passed Tax Accounting with the lowest grade I have ever received in school but I didn't care because it meant that Tax Accounting would be left in 2011 and I could move on to bigger and better things in 2012. I volunteered one day for UGA Habitat for Humanity's Gift Wrap Across Georgia. That was significant to me because the past two years I have given my heart and soul the week before Christmas and I proved to myself that I can take a step back. My mom got sick on Christmas Eve and is still sick, so after Christmas was a lot of laziness. My grandfather visited, so it was fun to have him around.
So now I am sitting here thinking about 2011. I didn't even include that I was vice president: finance for Delta Gamma which taught me all sorts of lessons about dealing with people and planning a budget. It's one of the reasons I am still an accounting major because I enjoyed it so much. I also became a member of Order of Omega, a Greek Honor Society. I never realized how many experiences one person can have in the span of 365 days. All of these experiences are going to make me a better person and I truly believe that 2011 is a year that I will never forget.
I know this post is already way too long but I want to look ahead, so that a year from now I can look back and reflect on 2012. Hopefully it will be an even better year than 2011.

Here's what I am excited about:
  • Taking over the position of vp: programming for Delta Gamma
  • Summer Olympics in London
  • My Internship with Georgia Pacific
  • Delta Gamma Convention
  • Leonard Retreat (one week from today wooh) and continuing to work with CCHS
  • Continuing to push myself to step out of the box and live life to the fullest

"Well, we have a whole new year ahead of us. And wouldn't it be wonderful if we could all be a little more gentle with each other, and a little bit more loving, have a little bit more empathy, and maybe - next year at this time - we'd like each other a little bit more." - Judy Garland

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Dangling through LLSP

My semester was full of tax accounting and learning about myself through the Leonard program. Let's just say on December 13th, I was very relieved to be done with tax accounting but it was bittersweet because I was also done with my first class of the Leonard program.

Everyone told me that my expectations would be completely surpassed once I actually started in the Leonard program. I know that I was expecting for it to happen but I didn't realize that it was happening until the end of the semester. I threw myself into creating my PDLD document and the whole class came together to give a presentation to our client, Classic City High School. If I had any doubts that Leonard was going to make an impact on my life before those two events, those doubts were laid to rest. At the end of the semester, I was grateful for being given the opportunity to participate in this program and I am now counting down the days until my class heads up to the North Georgia Mountains for our retreat.

This program has started to change my life because it has started to push me towards my passions. I have never before been more grateful for parents who are not in the same careers that they started their working lives in 20 years ago. I have grown comfortable with changing careers which is going to be helpful because my passions aren't necessarily a straight career path.

The PDLP document is the Personal Development and Leadership Portfolio. I took assessments throughout the semester and wrote journals about how I was feeling trying to discover where my true passion lies. It also has Development Outcomes that I am going to be working on over the next year in order to follow my dreams. One of the hardest parts of the PDLD for me was the vision statement because it was the moment when I really had to make a decision about where I saw my life ending up. I struggled with this assignment because it was the first time I came to the realization that I want to do something more extraordinary with my life.

The final draft of my vision statement: My best leadership vision for the future is to be the person that people turn to when they need a solution to a problem. The person who is always willing to give advice and make sure that people know I am willing to support them. The person who is willing to make the judgment calls when they are necessary while considering all the facts. I want to be a leaders who knows about everything that is going on in the organization but also know where my strengths are most contributable. I want the people in my life to understand my core values and realize their importance to me. I want to start something that will last beyond my generation. I want to make a difference in the lives of children someway, somehow. The best way I can think to combine all my passions is to start a foundation and help contribute to the development of other human beings. In the end, I want to be known as the person who knew how they wanted to make a difference and was not too scared to pursue their dream.

I know this will be something that I look back on over the next few years and I am so glad that I got the opportunity to put together this project. Leadership is something that is very interesting to learn about because there are so many opinions about the best forms of leadership. I can't wait to continue learning and making myself a better person.

Update College Bucket List

It has been awhile since I have updated the blog. This past semester kind of kicked my butt, but I am through with it now and it is my goal to post more often in the new year. I thought it would be a good time to reflect on the items that I have crossed off the list.  

Eat at these restaurants
  • 5 & 10
  • Amici : My first actual attempt at getting something crossed off the bucket list came with this restaurant. My aunt and cousins came to Athens for the night to take myself and two friends out to dinner. This place was great because there was a train for my little cousins to watch and their menu has a good variety. I liked it's flexibility so much that I went back for my birthday dinner with friends. It's that typical Athens place- full of personality but cheap enough for the college student.
  • Black Forest Bakery
  • Casa Mia
  • Clocked : My sister came up for a weekend in Athens while our parents made a trip to Tuscaloose to see Alabama play Arkansas. I always make sure to get a good meal when my parents come to town, so when MK got picked up we headed to Clocked. I got a grilled cheese sandwich because I don't like hamburgers. To be honest, this restaurant was average. I didn't see anything that made it stand out except for the decor. Great experience but not necessarily needed again.
  • DePalma's : I got to spend my birthday weekend with all of my favorite people. I, once again, made sure to get a good meal when my parents came to town. This restaurant just happened to be the only one with a table available on the weekend of the Auburn game. I loved the drink I got to celebrate my 21st but the food was alright. I have had better food in Athens but I might try again just because the night I went was so busy. It will definitely be a dinner I remember.
  • East West Bistro
  • Ike & Jane
  • La Dolce Vita
  • Mama's Boy
  • Speakeasy
  • The Grit
  1. Go to the Georgia Theatre : I finally made it to this downtown landmark. UGA Miracle held a benefit concert with Little Big Town and I was front and center. My roommate and I had a great time singing along and I realized how much fun it is to be that close to the band. I will definitely head back to the Theatre as soon as I get the opportunity.
  2. Get a DG family picture by the downtown frog
  3. Get 21st B'day shirt from Athens Bottling Co : I started off celebrating by going to buy a shirt at Five Points Bottle Shop. I bought the required alcoholic beverage to get my shirt that states "No Fake IDs, No Crybabies". My friend had a picture of me with my shirt outside of Five Points but I think it got lost when she updated her phone. I guess I will have to go get a new one. My shirt was definitely worth the trip.
  4. Find the Creamery
  5. Go to the farmer's market
  6. Find the Iron Horse
  7. Frolic in the fountain on North Campus
  8. Ring the Chapel Bell : I completed this task after my grandlittles were initiated but I want my picture to be from when I ring the bell after a football win because that is the traditon of UGA.
  9. Go to Georgia Florida : I finally made it to St. Simons and Jacksonville to see my beloved Dawgs beat the Gators. St. Simons was a great experience on the beach and then the game was about as close at it could of been with it going down to the wire.
  10. Go to Jimmy Buffett
  11. See the UGA Acappella groups in concert
  12. Get a picture with our mascots
  13. Stand on the football field
  14. Get a picture by the "tree that owns itself"
  15. Be in Athens for Athfest
  16. Go to a baseball game
  17. Go to a basketball game
  18. Go to a gymnastics meet
  19. Go to a few away football games
  20. Ride a bike through Athens
  21. Go to the Botanical Gardens
  22. Go downtown on each night of the week
  23. Spend time in the Chapel
  24. Experience Twilight Weekend
  25. Go to Sips and Strokes to paint
  26. Get a hot dog from the hot dog guy near North Campus
  27. Walk throught the Arch- meaning that my time at UGA is done and hopefully I have had the time of my life!!
I think this is a pretty good start and I can't wait to keep updating this post. I am hoping that if I start to blog more this year then I will be able to fully capture all of my college experiences.
Georgia Theatre

Georgia Florida