As February hit, I began feeling nostalgic. Exactly one year ago, I was wishing for the months to pass quickly so that ELC training would begin. This February, those feelings have been much different. I find myself paralyzed in my movements over the thought of how quickly the months have flashed before my eyes now that my first year as an ELC is nearing an end. I often think about how I can complete the job in the most impactful way. I think about how I am going to say goodbye to collegiate members that I have spent months with. I think about how I will thank those that have helped me along the way. I think about the memories I’ve made with the ELC team. I think about the true meaning of being an ELC.
Being an ELC is greater than just being part of a team.
Your coworkers become your soulmates. They are your best friends. They are your other halves. They are your partners in crime. They are your future bridesmaids. They are your missing puzzle pieces. They are your lifelines. They are individuals that make you forget what life was like before you had them in your life.
Being an ELC is about growth.
It is about personal growth and real world experience. It is about seeing a chapter grow on Bid Day or through COB. It is about watching a collegiate member grow as a leader. It is about seeing a chapter overcome a weakness. It is about helping Alpha Phi grow through colonizing a new chapter. It is about helping new members grow to have a passion for Alpha Phi. It is about seeing your results that have made a positive impact on the growth of the Fraternity.
Most importantly, you grow to learn that being an ELC is not about you.
It is about the individual chapters and members! It is about empowering collegiate members to be the best versions of themselves. It is about seeing the happy tears in the eyes of collegians and new members as they unite on Bid Day. It is about pushing officers to recognize their potential as a leader. It is about seeing an executive council willing to try something new. It is about seeing a colony experience their set of firsts. It is about encouraging members to stand back up when they have fallen.
The reality of time is that it will never stop. As time continues to tick by, the day comes closer when the ELC journey will end where it all began – back at the Executive Office. As each consultant arrived in Evanston back in July, we each brought a unique experience and set of strengths. We entered the Executive Office being vulnerable. We arrived a little uncertain of what exactly the future would look like. It was hard to believe that 15 strangers, with different personalities, lives, backgrounds and Alpha Phi experiences could sit in a room together and all discover one common goal – to make a positive impact on the Fraternity and on the lives of other Alpha Phis. And that is what makes my heart feel full.
Stephanie Tripi (Beta Omega-Kent State) is a first year educational leadership consultant. Learn more about Stephanie by clicking here.