To The Person Who Made Me A Leader

To The Person Who Made Me A Leader

It was the most difficult and most rewarding experience of my life.
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We all have significant people in our lives, whether it's family members we look up to, friends who have helped us through difficult times, teachers who've inspired you to pursue a certain line of work, a coach who is the reason you love a sport or someone else.

I owe a lot of gratitude to the person who made me a leader. Though I think being a "leader" requires some genetic make-up, it mostly takes a lot of guidance, training and practice to be a good leader. And I feel so blessed that I was taught what it meant to be a good leader when I was young, and I was given the tools to practice these principles.

Although I've had various advisors and teachers and hold various leadership positions, my high school band director was the person who really changed my outlook and attitude about leadership. I was given my first leadership position as a sophomore and was eventually named drum major of my marching band my senior year. I was given years of practice and lots of training.

My band director required all leaders to attend a leadership workshop, which offered more insight to what it means to lead than any other workshop I've ever attended. He also required that go through various training sessions before we were given the position, and complete an extensive application process to become a leader.

Once we were given the position, we were given a lot of responsibility. It was more responsibility than you would think a bunch of high schoolers would be given. We were expected to make decisions, especially if it was a decision that needed to be made immediately. We were expected to take our own initiative. We were given a lot more power and control than most teachers would usually give students, which was a terrifying privilege to have.

We were expected to take responsibility for our own mistakes, and to take responsibility for the mistakes of the students we're leading. We were expected to communicate with the director and the reach of the band staff, and to communicate in an efficient, honest and professional manner. Although all of this responsibility and expectation was stressful, looking back it was amazing that a teacher has so much faith in student's abilities to leader that he would hand over so much power.

Although my band director, the staff, the other leaders, the students and even myself, weren't always the easiest to work with (the stereotype about moody musicians is definitely correct), this was just another aspect of the role that taught me about leadership. It was great to experience working with a variety of personalities.

My band director valued my opinion, and allowed me to speak out about my concerns, even if my concerns were about him. Not a lot of teachers/advisors will allow this. I tell people being drum major of my marching band was the most difficult and most rewarding experience I've ever had. Not only did it teach about leadership but it taught me about reliability, accountability and overall self-confidence.

I'm so lucky to have been taught what it really means to be a leader at a young age, because there are some adults who don't even really know. Having the knowledge and experience of leadership gives me the confidence from apply, interviewing and carrying out various jobs and leadership positions. I use what I learned from being a leader in band with me in everything I participate in. And I could thank my direct for giving me the training and experiencing, and for believing in me and my abilities to be a real leader.

Cover Image Credit: Jolie Delia

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

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When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

SEE ALSO: They're Not Junkies, You're Just Uneducated

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

Cover Image Credit: http://crashingintolove.tumblr.com/post/62246881826/pieffysessanta-tumblr-com

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How To Avoid Getting Sick Your  Freshman Year

It's going to take a little more than an apple a day.

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College is the prime time and place to catch a cold... or worse. Although, somehow I managed to crack the code to health and not get sick my whole first year of college. This is surprising considering I was living in the close (and very unsanitary) quarters of a dorm room.

1. Keep your diet somewhat healthy

https://picjumbo.com/healthy-fruits-and-vegetables/

I know how hard it is to eat healthy in college, especially on a low budget. But with the dining hall foods, you can at least include some vegetables and fruits into your everyday consumption. The vitamins in these foods will help keep your immune system up and it will be worth the effort.

2. Try to exercise a few times per week

https://picjumbo.com/fitness-girl-jogging-morning-run/

Even if you're just getting out of the dorm for a thirty minute walk, it will benefit your body. If you decide to up your routine from that, even better! The more endorphins, the more you will feel better inside and out.

3. Cut back on the drinking if you feel a cold coming on

https://pixabay.com/photos/glasses-toasting-cheers-alcohol-919071/

Surprisingly, many college students don't seem to know that alcohol lowers your immune system. Of course, for some people theres no way of avoiding drinking. But if you can at least give your body rest days, it will be extremely beneficial.

4. Invest in a dehumidifier for your dorm room

https://icdn2.digitaltrends.com/image/dehumidifier_hero_1-2-720x720.jpg

I believe this was a very big player in helping me not get sick. The dehumidifier helps reduce dust and other particles in the air. This will help not agitate your allergies and you will feel more clear headed.

5. Try not to share personal products

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Sharing things like towels, makeup, unwashed cups, etc. can all be causes of a sickness being passed around you and your friends. Of course sharing is caring, just make sure it's sanitary.

6. Be conscientious of who you kiss!

https://www.pexels.com/photo/love-people-kissing-romance-18397/

Make sure that your girlfriend, boyfriend, or "its complicated" person is not sick before you're getting cozy with them.

7. Drink lots of green tea!

https://libreshot.com/green-tea/

Personally, I credit green tea and its anti-oxidants for keeping the flu away and even getting rid of bugs that might be forming in your system. So if you feel like you might be developing a cold, chug that tea!

I know how annoying these tips may be. But I promise, if you implement at least a few it could reduce your chances of feeling horrible during midterms in the winter, and sneezing all over your finals in the fall.

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