Sore Legs Never Felt So Good

Sore Legs Never Felt So Good

We dance until there aren't any more sick kids.
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As I type, it's been 48 hours since two thousand Boilermakers stood for those who can't at the Purdue University Dance Marathon. We stood, we danced and we made it through the 18-hour adventure toward a goal; to dream a little bigger, reach a little higher and make a difference in the lives of families who would be lost without the miracles that happen at Riley Hospitals for Children. Not only did we have the privilege and honor to help Riley families everywhere in their fight, but we also got to meet amazing people and create friendships that will last a lifetime. 

I'll begin by saying that if you've been on the fence before about becoming involved with Dance Marathon, you should hop off that fence over to the side that will challenge you to be a part of something bigger than yourself. My involvement in Dance Marathon these last four years has changed my life in such profound ways. 

I've never been a part of a more moving and eye-opening experience. I think gaining a true appreciation of how lucky we are to live the lives we do is extremely valuable, but Dance Marathon will do so much more than that for you. Over the course of my involvement in Dance Marathon, my fundraising total has increased exponentially every year because I get into competition with myself to make the biggest positive impact I possibly can. I've deepened my involvement by joining the Greek Relations Committee and hope to join the executive team next year. Dance Marathon has given me a profound appreciation for my own life and has also driven me to give up more and more of myself each year to help others. It made me realize the potential that a small, but highly motivated group of caring people has to change lives. More importantly, my involvement in Dance Marathon will continue to allow me to realize that potential in the future. 

I think I can speak for everyone that has been affected by Dance Marathon when I say that it has instilled a philanthropic attitude and dedication to service that I'll take with me where ever I go and incorporate into everything I do. Dance Marathon opened up a perspective on life that has fundamentally changed me as a person. It has empowered me and the nearly two thousand people who stood with me for 18 hours with the knowledge that the world is a better place because we were here. 

Dance Marathon has also given me a family I never thought I would have. I share a bond with everyone that I danced with last month. After seeing the final total after those 18 long hours, we all realized how truly important each and every one of us was to reaching our goal. Every single one of us, from the executive board to the individual dancer, had to dream a little bigger to raise the bar from last year. If everyone at the marathon had raised just one less dollar, we wouldn't have broken the record. No one played an insignificant role. Everyone had a hand in making miracles happen that day. 

With all that said, words cannot truly describe what Dance Marathon has given me. It has taught me that I can gain the most by giving back. It taught me that one person can change the world. Maybe we can't change the world for everyone, but giving a struggling family the chance to stay together for little while longer is priceless. Being a part of the miracle will change your life, I guarantee it. 

So I'll see you at next year's marathon, where I hope to be wearing a black polo shirt as a member of the executive board. I'll only be here for the fall semester, and I can't think of a better way to end my career at Purdue than with sore legs and a full heart. 

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To The Girl Who Had A Plan

A letter to the girl whose life is not going according to her plan.
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“I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” - William Ernest Henley

Since we were little girls we have been asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We responded with astronauts, teachers, presidents, nurses, etc. Then we start growing up, and our plans change.

In middle school, our plans were molded based on our friends and whatever was cool at the time. Eventually, we went to high school and this question became serious, along with some others: “What are your plans for college?” “What are you going to major in?” “When do you think you’ll get married?” “Are you going to stay friends with your friends?” We are bombarded with these questions we are supposed to have answers to, so we start making plans.

Plans, like going to college with our best friends and getting a degree we’ve been dreaming about. Plans, to get married as soon as we can. We make plans for how to lose weight and get healthy. We make plans for our weddings and children.

SEE ALSO: 19 Pieces Of Advice From A Soon-To-Be 20-Year-Old

We fill our Pinterest boards with these dreams and hopes that we have, which are really great things to do, but what happens when you don’t get into that college? What happens when your best friend chooses to go somewhere else? Or, what if you don’t get the scholarship you need or the awards you thought you deserved. Maybe, the guy you thought you would marry breaks your heart. You might gain a few pounds instead of losing them. Your parents get divorced. Someone you love gets cancer. You don’t get the grades you need. You don’t make that collegiate sports team. The sorority you’re a legacy to, drops you. You didn’t get the job or internship you applied for. What happens to you when this plan doesn’t go your way?

I’ve been there.

The answer for that is “I have this hope that is an anchor for my soul.” Soon we all realize we are not the captain of our fate. We don’t have everything under control nor will we ever have control of every situation in our lives. But, there is someone who is working all things together for the good of those who love him, who has a plan and a purpose for the lives of his children. His name is Jesus. When life takes a turn you aren’t expecting, those are the times you have to cling to Him the tightest, trusting that His plan is what is best. That is easier said than done, but keep pursuing Him. I have found in my life that His plans were always better than mine, and slowly He’s revealing that to me.

The end of your plan isn’t the end of your life. There is more out there. You may not be the captain of your fate, but you can be the master of your soul. You can choose to be happy despite your circumstances. You can change directions at any point and go a different way. You can take the bad and make something beautiful out of it, if you allow God to work in your heart.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Patiently Waiting With An Impatient Heart

So, make the best of that school you did get in to. Own it. Make new friends- you may find they are better than the old ones. Apply for more scholarships, or get a job. Move on from the guy that broke your heart; he does not deserve you. God has a guy lined up for you who will love you completely. Spend all the time you can with the loved one with cancer. Pray, pray hard for healing. Study more. Apply for more jobs, or try to spend your summer serving others instead. Join a different club or get involved in other organizations on campus. Find your delight first in God and then pursue other activities that make you happy; He will give you the desires of your heart.

My friend, it is going to be OK.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Beavers Photography

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Fall In Love With Failure In Order To Be Successful

Make failure your key to success.

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The world is full of 'no's.' From your parents saying no to you not being able to go out with your friends, to getting denied from the college you really wanted to go to. The word 'No' is defined as 'the negative answer or decision; getting the opposite of what is specified' according to Google.

If any of you follow Gary Vaynerchuk (better known as Gary Vee, famous entrepreneur and motivational speaker) said once that you need to 'fall in love with failure.' Accepting failure and how you handle that failure, really determines your destiny. (It does sound cheesy, but it is very true).

So many people let failure defeat them. You might say that failure might not defeat you, but inside it still does. Failure is a daunting feeling that makes you feel less than who you are. Or that you do not have enough potential for something. But here is the thing…YOU DO HAVE THE POTENTIAL FOR SOMETHING.

I love failing. I know, it sounds crazy, but I like failing. Why? Because it helps me narrow down my options, and shows me what is meant to be, and what isn't. Failure is a sign from God saying, 'No, there is another way you can do this, you just haven't found it yet. Keep pushing forward'. I am a firm believer in 'if it's meant to be, it's meant to be, and if it isn't, it isn't'. Failure is like your guide through life, helping you stay off the roads you aren't meant to go down. And when failure does come to you, you essentially find another way.

For example, when you apply for college, you apply to several schools. (Unlike me, only applying to one). So, when I got a response back from the college, they denied my application. I was devastated because I had painted this whole picture in my head of myself there, and that it was the 'only way' to be successful and get to where I want to be in life. Well, I let myself be sad for a solid five minutes, but then I branched out my options, knowing that it is okay and that God didn't want me to go there as well, thus why I got denied. Failure really pisses me off, but it fuels the fire/drive for success I have.

My message to you is take that failure, accept it, maybe laugh at it! You will find another way for success. Just keep working hard, exploring, and making a difference, and you will end up where you need to be, regardless of how you get there.

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