Throughout my high school career, I was always involved in as many activities and clubs that I could possibly handle at once. Being really involved helped me adapt easier and keep me on my feet at all times.
When it was time to move to Kentucky where I knew a maximum of five people out of over 20,000 on campus, I knew that I had to get involved. In my opinion, there was no better way to start my freshman year of college off than registering for formal recruitment.
After a long and stressful week, I was lucky enough to end up where I’m supposed to be.
Since my first year as a new member of Tri Delta, I have been surrounded by courageous, committed and confident leaders. After two years of getting to know people and get comfortable, I was offered the position of Vice President of Finance.
I’m not going to lie, I was completely shocked at first. I have literally zero background in finance and I hate math and working with numbers. On top of that, accepting this position would mean that I would serve on the standards committee (if you know, you know).
For those of you who are not in Greek life, standards is the group of people that make executive decisions for the chapter. So essentially, it’s a lot of responsibility. As someone who has never held that big of a position before along with the fact that I have no previous financial background, I was hesitant to accept.
After going back and forth contemplating what I should do, I ended up accepting. Yeah, I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but I also really love my chapter and felt that having this position fall into my lap was meant to happen.
Here I am, five months in. I’m definitely a different person than I was at the start back in November. Dealing with all of the money for a chapter of 280 girls and managing a budget of about $800,000 really does something to you. I think I had my first “oh shit” moment after the first week but I’ve definitely gotten the hang of things and have learned so much.
Being a leader has involved dealing with the good, the bad and the oh so ugly. Like I said, my chapter has about 280 girls in it. As much as I’d like to say that everything is always sunshine and rainbows, it’s not.
When you’re dealing with that many people there’s something new every week.
If there’s any valuable lesson that I’ve learned from this experience, it’s that I will never be able to please everybody. This is something that I still struggle to accept sometimes simply because I’m the type of person who tries really hard to make everyone happy.
It’s difficult to sit back and listen to people say negative things about standards and the way we handle certain things as a group because I know deep down that every decision we make is done with the best interest of the chapter in mind.
When people come into the room amped up about something, they often forget that we are human beings too. We have feelings and spend lots of late nights talking through situations to make sure that we are truly doing what’s best.
A lot of consideration goes into each decision that is made. But no matter if we spend two minutes or two hours talking through something, nothing we do will ever make all 280 people happy with it.
With that being said, I’ve also learned that you can’t let the negative words of a few speak louder than the positive words of the majority. I have dedicated way too much of myself to this chapter to let a few rude comments consume me.
So many other members tell me on a daily basis that we’re doing such a great job. So why brush those compliments off but focus on the negative ones from two or three people, which at the end of the day mean literally nothing???
When people get upset about something they always look for someone to blame, which nine times out of ten ends up being those of us on standards. I used to get really pissed off and bothered by it, but at this point, I honestly just don’t care anymore.
I’m slowly but surely learning how to focus my energy on the things that matter most in my life, and negativity is not one of them.
Now I don’t want people to think that everything I just described is all that sorority life is, because it most certainly is not.
The positives definitely outweigh the negatives. I could go on about all of the amazing things that I have accomplished and participated in because of my membership in Tri Delta, but that's something for another time.
What I’ve taken away from my five months of being a leader in my sorority are lessons that I will carry with me after I graduate and start pursuing my professional career. The same things I had to work through as a member of standards are the same things that managers have to work through in the workplace.
If being a successful leader means I have to take some backlash every now and then, I’m okay with that.
If I want the rainbow, I have to deal with the rain.