I wanted to go to Central Michigan University so badly. I was so excited to go off on my own and be independent. CMU is three hours away from my house and in August I would’ve said that it was still too close. This year was nothing like I expected. I am not going to lie and say I loved it because I didn’t. However, with struggles come lessons.
Family is everything. I couldn’t wait to get away from my family. I didn’t really get along with them very well. Three teenagers living in one house is a lot of hormones! There was common attitudes and bickering. I was so excited to get away from them. Now I would do anything to see my siblings every day. We were much closer than I ever realized. I missed them more than I didn’t miss them. My mom is a single mom and I am the oldest so we are really close. She has been my rock this year and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without her.
Make the best out of situations. Fairly early into the school year I became very unhappy. My grades weren’t great, I wasn’t making friends, and I missed my family. First semester was one of the lowest parts of my life. I was counting down the days until winter break. While I was on break I did realize something. I had to go back, that wasn’t a question(at that point). I wasn’t thrilled but I had to make the best of it. When I got back to school I decided I was going to try to be happier. It worked for a while but I slowly slipped back down. I always tried to remind myself that it could be a lot worse.
I have always believed that everything happens for a reason. My year at CMU was no different. While I was here I realized what I valued and what I truly cared about. Not everything about this year was bad. I met some absolutely amazing people who are going to change the world. I was blessed to learn so much in the classroom that is going to benefit me as I continue my journey to saving lives.
Don’t be afraid to be passionate. One great thing about college is most people have a passion. Something that they really care about. While I have been here I realized who cares what people think. If I truly care about something I need to stand up for it no matter.
College is scary. Everyone knows that. Having someone to look up to is so great and beneficial. All freshmen LAS members are given a sophomore mentor to help guide them through their years here at CMU. I was blessed to be given an angel named Sara. During the second weekend of school we all headed to Eagle Village to have a bonding retreat. We did challenge courses and high ropes to become closer as cohorts and mentor/mentee pairings. Personally I struggled with the high ropes. I have never been afraid of heights until I got up there. I was petrified. Sara was so supportive the whole time and really encouraged me to keep going. One part I sincerely enjoyed was the canoeing trip. I got to hangout with people I hadn’t gotten the chance to know so it was pleasant getting to spend time with them. I really appreciate that the Leadership Institute sent us on such a beneficial, memorable retreat.
Leadership Safari is a week long leadership event for freshmen and transfer students at CMU. We move in a week early and get acclimated to campus. During the week, participants attend workshops, speakers, and ice-breakers. Participants get put into groups of about 10 and we were paired with a well-rounded, educated upperclassmen.
One the first full day of Safari, we experience excursions and had a super fun, hype kick off event. We got the chance to listen to some pretty great a cappella groups. We also had a Safari wide ice-breaker with David Coleman. The following day, we started the morning listening to Michael Miller. In the afternoon, we participated in a bonding leadership challenge course. We went to an amazing performance by Ebony and The Asia Project, both are amazing poets, later that night. The next morning, we listened to a very funny, wild Ed Gerety. That afternoon we all learned a valuable lesson. For lunch we all got different colored lunch according to our name tags. Sounds pretty normal but when we got back to our groups we quickly realized something was going on. We all had a different amount of food. However, my group handled this well. We put all the food in the middle and rationed it out. The lesson was not everyone has it easy in life and the fortunate people, like us, should help in any way possible. We continued with that lesson in the following activity. We all packaged food for third world counties. This wasn’t a huge thing for us but our small acts of kindness could possibly change someones life. I really loved the idea of that. Our final day was excited and sad at the same time. We got the chance to learn some great CMU traditions. We ended safari with a great conference dinner and an awesome celebration!!