Today, I finished my final fall semester as a collegian. I cannot help but reflect on what the past four years have brought me. With a grateful heart, I take it all in.
Flashback to my freshman year:
There I stood with a bid in my hand, excited girls standing everywhere around me, my #1 choice just accepted me, but what does this really mean?
Initiation is over; I am finally an active member of Alpha Phi. I understand our ritual, I am so proud to be here, but how can I help?
I received my first pair of letters today, and it is an honor. People around us do not understand how important they are, but that’s okay, that’s the beauty of it.
Elections are around the corner; and the women on our executive board are my role models. The way they carry themselves and uphold our values brings me inspiration and motivation to succeed.
With high expectations, I took my first step onto the executive board as Vice President of Programming and Education. Taking a position is tough. It takes courage to go for it. At times you get a position and it takes a lot out of you. You have to learn to put others before yourself. Sometimes sacrifices need to be made for the health of your chapter. But there is no better feeling than seeing your hard work and ideas come to life. There is no better feeling than seeing your sisters happy and watching your chapter thrive. In fact, it is so rewarding that I stuck around, and became Vice President of Risk Management.
This organization has taught me the beauty of a challenge, taught me to be proud of something that many people do not understand. It has held me accountable for upholding my morals and showed me how important it is to be aware of the brand you are creating for yourself.
Through Alpha Phi, I gained sisters and people to support me. I learned to be responsible, I know how to manage my time and balance my priorities.
I learned that doing the right thing, is not always the easiest. I understand integrity.
I learned that people will talk, I recognize that the only option is to brush it off, and prove them wrong. Stereotypes do not define us.
I gained confidence.
I gained myself and I am proud of who I have become.
The advice I want to leave future sisters with is that the best thing that you can do during your four years with Alpha Phi is to take on a leadership position. Invest yourself in a new environment. Any position, big or small, will give you a different perspective of the world. It teaches you so much about yourself and the way you work. When you are exposed to tough situations you experience a wide range of emotions that prepare you to interact with different types people.
Being involved will connect you to the chapter, get you out of your comfort zone, and build your leadership skills.
Go for it.
Yasmin Quintana is a collegiate member at the Epsilon Upsilon chapter at California State University Northridge. To learn more about Yasmin, click here.