Alternative Breaks

As I have previously mentioned, I have IMG_8644.jpgbeen involved with the CMU Alternative Breaks program for over a year now, and I could not be more happy with my decision to be apart of such an amazing program. I went to Immokalee, Florida last summer to volunteer in an elementary school, and this past spring break I went to Omaha, Nebraska to serve at YES, better known as Youth Emergency Services, as well as Completely Kids. Both of these trips allowed me to embrace one of my biggest passions— working with at risk youth in poverty stricken areas.IMG_2447.jpg

After both of these alternative breaks, I finally decided it was time for me to jump from being a participant to being a site leader. After recently finding out that I would be a site leader within this program I was filled with an overwhelming sense of pure joy and IMG_8705.jpgreassurance. Getting this position reassured me that my passions and eagerness to volunteer and serve communities are what really makes me most happy and most intune with myself. Service and giving back to other communities has always given me a warm feeling, knowing I really can help and use my time in a wise and great way. It isn’t always easy for people to find the time to give back, but even if you start by taking a couple minutes out of your day, it r
eally does make a difference. This program has helped me bloom into a person I am proud of and a person who truly does care for the greater good of others.

I cannot wait to see where this opportunity takes me in the fall as well as what break I will be site leading, so stay tuned!

 

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LEAD Team

My Lead Team that I served on this past year was the special events team. Our team plans events for LAS to help fundraise money, bond with all the cohorts, and genuinely have a good time. Our first event we planned was LAS on Ice, which we all contributed in helping this go smoothly. I made the flyer that was advertised on social media and other members on my team got the ice arena booked, sent out the information to all LAS cohorts, and other little details that go into planning. My team was very flexible and friendly, which made planning this event go over well. We had a really good turn out for the event, and of course the annual skating suits made an appearance.

Another event that my lead team is working on is the annual Detroit Tigers CMU baseball game. We make sure that all LAS alumni, current scholars, and incoming scholars get invited and discounted tickets to attend a great game! Its an awesome bonding experience and LAS always has a section for everyone to move seats to get to know one another, especially the incoming freshmen LASers. I loved going to the game last summer and I am looking forward to attending it again! I had a pretty good lead team experience and I can’t wait for next years lead team!

 

 

 

Freud and Food

From personality disorders to why we think the way we do, Psychology 100 was definitely a class filled with laughs and learning. In the beginning of the year I was a little stubborn about taking another psychology class due to the fact that I already took AP Psychology in high school but only got a three on the national exam. I thought to myself “How much more can I possibly learn about psychology?”, but I was in for a real ride with this class. From Professor Prewitt’s detailed stories and encounters to the bizarre questions that would come out of a fellow LASer’s mouth, I can say that I will miss the laughs shared in this class and the late nights spent on MindTap doing pre-lecture quizzes.

What made this class so much better was the fact that I was surrounded by my LAS cohort and how we could just bounce ideas off each other, and of course the family dinner trips to Robby afterwards. I learned, and actually retained, a lot of information from this class and can apply it to my everyday life. By being a leader I can also use many of the tactics and tips I learned about and easily become a better person to work with and to be around daily. This was not just a regular psychology class, but one that actually challenged my thinking and helped me be able to apply what I learned to the real world and to the people I work with on a daily basis.

The Ropes Course was High, but Our Energy was Higher

As the buses rolled up bright and early, the entire Barnes Hall lobby was filled with tired eyes, but bright and energetic souls. All the freshmen in the 2015 LAS cohort quickly found their mentors, strapped on our fanny pants, and began to awe over the weekend ahead. As we arrived to Eagle Village and went over the ground rules of the site, we dove right into some challenging leadership activities. Everyone and their mentors were assigned to a small home group with about eight or nine other mentor/mentee pairs. My group and I first headed over to an outdoor wide-scale obstacle course, and my was this hard. All twenty or so of us had to carry a little tub of plastic balls and foam cubes through each obstacle—but everyone had to be touching the tub or a rope clipped to a tub. Although this was challenging, it brought out everyone’s leadership style and helped us bond as a group so that we could be successful in the end, which we were.

As the day carried on and more activities challenged not only the way we think but how we act, the night bonfire was something I might not ever forget. Two cohorts formed one large family around this bonfire and emotions were high as many opened up about themselves. This bonding moment was something completely different and wonderful all on it’s own.

The high ropes course was Sunday morning and boy did it have me feeling some type of way. As me myself am afraid of heights, I did not think this whole “strap yourself in with a harness and climb around obstacles in the air” thing would work out. Oh how wrong I was. Once I climbed up the ladder to reach the first obstacle I felt such a surge of adrenaline and empowerment—I could actually do this. Through the support of the fellow LASers on the course with me, I felt so unbelievably great and conquered one of my biggest fears. I cannot wait until I get a little mentee of my own and am able to help guide them through the many obstacles, not only at Eagle Village, but in life.

Lions, and Tigers, and Penguins, Oh My!

As I was walking through the large glass doors of the UC on move in day I was greeted by multiple people dressed as if they were on a great African Safari Trip. The energy was high and the smiles were wide while I gathered all my essential Safari belongings from the large tables. I was quickly named a Penguin, or as my guide called us, “Particiguins”.IMG_4362For the readers who don’t know, Leadership Safari is a large, week-long leadership conference for all of Central Michigan’s incoming freshmen and transfer students. Everyone is put into a home group of about ten people and each group is named after an animal. I swear to it; by the end of the week you’re guaranteed to find some of your best friends. There are inspirational and motivational speakers from all over, the energy is unbelievably high, you break everything you’ve ever known about trust, and by the end of the week you could have reinvented yourself completely, like I did.

A little disclaimer: I have oddly attended multiple leadership camps, conferences and workshops. Weird coming from an LAS scholar, right? Well after attending more leadership gatherings than I can count, I can quite honestly say that Leadership Safari was by far one of my favorite leadership oriented conferences I have been too. I got to meet countless incoming freshmen who were in the exact same lost, confused, and awkward stage I was in. We broke out of our comfort zones, became emotionally connected to our home groups, and by the end of the week we were pros at finding our way around campus. Leadership Safari is exactly what it says, a true leadership adventure.

I took the knowledge I gained through this phenomenal experience and applied it to my leadership style and how I go about my daily life. I took the positivity from those surrounding me at the conference and now shed that light onto everyone I meet. I learned how to manage my time and stress and keep my grades in check. I truly feel that Leadership Safari made me a better person, student, and friend. I owe all my progress to CMU and all their wonderful leadership and life opportunities they have given me.