In just three short months of traveling as an ELC I have already visited 12 campuses. At the end of each visit, the time comes when I have to pack my bags for the next university. I instinctively get a wave of anxiety: Will they like me? Will I accomplish all of my goals on my visit? Will I make an impact on the chapter and its members? And more importantly, will I make lasting connections with these women? Time and time again I have these semi-panicked feelings, and each time I am pleasantly surprised by how warm and welcoming each chapter is. The women are genuinely interested in finding out about where I come from, my Alpha Phi experience and what I want to do in the future.
I grew up in Colorado and went to school just ten short minutes from home, so leaving that familiarity behind was hard for me. One of my biggest fears was that I was going to be incredibly homesick and not be able to adjust to a new lifestyle. What I didn’t realize was that I would find my home and a family in my ELC group, at University of Alabama, University of Southern California, University of Washington, Cal Poly, UC/Davis, Loyola Marymount, Lake Forest, University of Minnesota, University of Virginia, University of Dayton, Ohio State, Miami University and all of the chapters that I will visit in the future. I have come to realize that even though I am thousands of miles from home, I still have my Alpha Phi family stretched across North America that will always be there welcoming me, supporting me and loving me every step of the way. Being on the road can be lonely at times, but knowing that I will be walking through the doors of an Alpha Phi sisterhood at the end of the day is what makes the occasional loneliness so worth it.
My experience as an ELC has pushed me outside of my comfort zone, brought me to new and unfamiliar places, led me to meet some amazing and inspiring women and taught me so many life lessons that I never would have learned in any other position. I can’t believe I only have five more months left of this amazing journey. I will never forget the women I’ve met, the chapters I’ve worked with and the amazing people who have touched my life in ways that I never would have thought possible. I guess you could say that a “thank you” is in order to everyone that I have come in contact with on this wonderful journey. So thank you to my amazing, accepting and loving Alpha Phi family!
Jessica Carver (Beta Gamma-Colorado) is a first year Educational Leadership Consultant.