What a crazy two years it has been.
The first thing I got involved with here at CMU was Residence Hall Assembly (RHA). A few weeks into my freshman year, I jumped right in, joining the RHA executive board as their Director of Administration (aka Secretary). I had absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into. The college experience was all new to me – I didn’t know what being on an eboard would entail, I certainly didn’t know that RHA was one of the biggest RSO’s on campus, and I had no idea the time commitment I was signing myself up for. Yet, here I am almost two years later, saying goodbye to the experience that has shaped me the most here at CMU.
Year two was definitely crazier than the first. My freshman year I was extremely timid, not quite sure how to step up in my position and create a place for myself. This year, however, was much different. This year I moved into the role of National Communicaitons Coordinator, where I was responsible for representing CMU at different regional and national leadership conferences. Additionally, at the end of first semester, we had three eboard members step down from their positions (one without prior notice). We were only able to replace one person (thanks Kylie!), which left us with 7 people on a 9 person eboard – even better, only two of the seven were returning eboard members, and we had our annual conference coming up in February. It was our biggest event, and we had a lot of shoes to fill.
Second semester was where I stepped up. Without an Assistant Director, I stepped up to take over some of their duties (such as recording all of the programming requirements that the different Hall Councils are required to fulfill). I had planned on running for the position at the beginning of second semester; however, I realized I was too busy and decided to step out of the race. Our Director of Finance ended up getting the position; however, that left his position open, with no one willing to fill it. Left with two trying roles, I offered to continue tracking the programming requirements, which he eagerly accepted. I dubbed myself Assistant-to-the-Assistant Director in true Dwight Schrute fashion.
Once DREAM, our annual conference, rolled around, I was able to step up and help our fresh eboard plan a conference some of them had never even attended. I was able to lend valuable insights into the inner workings, as well as trouble shoot different issues we faced. We all worked great together, and it was amazing to see our team in action. In all honesty, planning this conference with a new eboard was much smoother and stress-free then it had been the previous year (where most of the board had been with the organization for 3-4 years).
Throughout these past two years in RHA, there have been many ups and downs. Frustrations, late nights, long meetings, and creative differences have left me worn out and ready to quit at times. However, I really feel like the trying times were what allowed me to grow. When I was unhappy with the way things were going, I needed to step back and remember that I was not in charge. When I wanted to take over, I learned that delegating tasks was not a horrible thing to do. My team was great at what they did and, even if they didn’t know how to do something, there were going to learn really quick. The 2017-2018 RHA team knew how to go with the flow and adapt to practically any situation with grace, while also leaving space for a joke and a laugh. When I was tense, they kept it light. Where one person faltered, another was right there to pick them up.
I want to thank everyone that I have had the privilege of meeting and working with these past two years. Allan and Jasmine, my two fearless leaders, different in every way except for your sass. You both have helped shape me into the person I am today. Thank you both for everything you have done for me, for showing me how to live a life with grace and passion, and how to lead with those two qualities. To both eboard teams I have worked with, thank you for believing in me and pushing me to be the best that I can be. To Jamie, you are a joy to attend these conferences with. Your ease and knowledge are wonderful, and I look forward to this last conference with you. And finally, to Kim, whom I am pretty sure knows the answer to every question about CMU. Thank you for being my guide these past two years. Your ability to advise this crazy cast of characters astounds me.
That’s it for now RHA. If you need anything, I’ll still be living in the UC; I’m only a phone call away.