I Always Thought Leaders Had To Be Outgoing, Until I Had To Lead

I Always Thought Leaders Had To Be Outgoing, Until I Had To Lead

It's intimidating, I'll admit.
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Whenever I think of a leader, I think of someone who has great power, who is confident, and someone who is outgoing. I've always been more on the shy side and never thought that I would be cut out to be a leader. In my college years, I was thrown into these smaller leadership roles in my classes due to group projects and it was very intimidating.

I was always the follower and now I was suddenly the one in the charge, the one everyone had to listen to. Would they actually listen to me? Would they try and walk all over me? Would I fail?

All these questions rushed through my mind, but I had to tell myself that it would happen. I succeeded and this was just a small taste of what was to come just two years later. I was offered the editor-in-chief position on this very team I still write for and while I was extremely grateful and happy, I also was nervous and doubting myself... and also a little scared.

I had never managed a team of people before. I was on this FGCU Odyssey team for about two years at this point, and suddenly the people who worked alongside me had become the people I would lead.

Female leaders always have this negative connotation about them due to the fact that they are labeled as "bossy." This always leads people to say that us women are "b*tches" because we are being assertive and standing our ground. I did not want to come off that way at all, I hate being mean to people.

If people were late with an article, not communicating with me, etc., I had to be the one to confront them about it and I always tried to do so in a way where they felt like I wasn't being rude. I wanted to be respectful, but also clear and concise.

Being in this EIC position for a year taught me so much. I learned to be more assertive and to be more confident in myself and my work ethic. I learned that even if you're more on the quiet side, you can still be a leader. You can still manage people but keep a level of camaraderie. I loved every minute of it and I think it helped shape me.

If you're doubting yourself and telling yourself that you can't be a leader, that you have to be loud, outgoing, intimidating, don't believe it. That is false. You will get people to listen. Most of all, you will succeed!

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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To The Nursing Major

Is it all worth it?
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"You're going to feel like quitting. You're going to struggle. You'll have days where you'll wonder, 'what's it all for?' You'll have days when people attempt to break you down, or challenge your intelligence, skills and right to be where you are. You'll have moments when you question your own abilities, and perhaps your sanity - but you'll rise. You'll rise, because your strength as a nurse is not determined by one grade, one shift or one job - it's an ongoing journey of learning, honor, humility and a chance to make even the smallest difference in the lives of your patients."

Don't ever give up on achieving your dreams to be a nurse. Keep pushing forward, no matter how hard it is. Nursing is not an easy major. You will have very little, if any, time to do anything other than study. But just think about how great it will feel to connect with a patient, pray with them, and even save his or her life. This will make all of the late night studying, weekly breakdowns, countless cups of coffee, and tests so hard all you want to do is cry, worth it. To see a patient's face light up when you walk in his or her room will make your heart melt and you'll know you chose the right major.

The kind of nurse you will be isn't based on a test grade, it's based on your heart for the people you are caring for. You may have failed a class, but don't let that ruin you. Try again and keep pushing toward your goal. Don't allow others around you to drag you down and tell you you aren't good enough to be a nurse. Show them how strong you are and that you will never give up. There will be days when all you want to do is quit, I know I question my major more than once a week; however, there is a patient out there that needs you and your caring heart. You can do this, have faith in yourself that you can move mountains.

I will say that you definitely must have a heart for nursing. Personally, I want to be a Pediatric Oncologist and work at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Just the thought of those precious children going through the hardest part of their lives, keeps me going so that I can be there for them. I want to be a light to my patients and their families during a dark time. When I feel like giving up, I just think about how many lives I have the chance to touch and I keep on going. So when you feel like giving up, just think about your future patients and how you can make a difference, even if its only for one person. I love the quote from Katie Davis that states, "I will not change the world, Jesus will do that. But I can change the world for one person. So I will keep loving, one person at a time." Even though this quote is about foreign missions, I believe it fits the mold for nursing as well. Nurses have the opportunity to change the world for people everyday. Just remember that, smile, don't give up, and keep pushing toward your goal.

Cover Image Credit: chla.org

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Starbucks Just Opened Its First-Ever Sign Language Location And We Are SO Here For It

Complete with the cutest mugs we've ever seen.

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On October 23rd, Starbucks opened their doors to the first ever U.S. signing store in Washington, D.C. In addition to the 20 to 25 people who are all fluent in American Sign Language, this location features lower tables, lower ordering counters, brighter lights, no background music, and larger text sizes, to accommodate for easier communication between baristas and customers.

Along with these features, the Washington, D.C. store, located in an existing Starbucks, includes tablets for customers to write their orders and screens to alert customers when drinks and food items are ready.

Aesthetically speaking, the new location will feature brighter lighting and many displays of ASL artwork. These original touches include "Starbucks" written in sign on aprons and in the window, a mural meant to encapsulate and celebrate deaf culture, and mugs designed by a deaf artist.

An article from Starbucks Newsroom says that there will be "a variety of enhancements to support the Deaf and hard of hearing partner and customer experience. Deaf baristas will have ASL aprons embroidered by a Deaf supplier, and hearing partners who sign will have an "I Sign" pin."

These are all initiatives put in place and sponsored by the Deaf Leadership of the Starbucks Access Alliance.

Store Manager Matthew Gilsbach, who is deaf himself, told Washingtonian in an interview, "We often talk about being the third place. We are your third place, you have your home, you have your work, and then you come here for a break between those two things to enjoy your day and your coffee," says Gilsbach. "So too does the deaf and hard of hearing community. And now they have direct access to other options for their third place. They don't have to feel isolated. Deaf and hard of hearing people have a place to come to call their own."

Starbucks has a history in both the positive and negative lights for getting involved in the news, and this store, creating opportunities for Deaf and hard of hearing customers, is yet another step in the right direction.

To find out how to sign your Starbucks order, Manager Matthew Gilsbach offers some tips here:

To all the pumpkin spice latte fans out there...

Starbucks Manager Matthew Gilsbach signing "pumpkin spice." Washingtonian

For all my friends who just like coffee...

Starbucks Manager Matthew Gilsbach signing "coffee." Washingtonian

And if you're trying to be polite...

Starbucks Manager Matthew Gilsbach signing "please and thank you." Washingtonian

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