WOW it’s been quite a while since i’ve allowed you into my world! Seeing as this is my last semester, I am going to try my hardest to get better at keeping you in the loop. I love to write, and it’s sad that sometimes I lose track of how good it makes me feel. So, I hope this week this blog will pull you back in as I enjoy the last stops on this emotional journey. It’s going to be a bit of a long one, but totally worth your while.
This past weekend was a bittersweet experience for me. Since freshman year I have been a part of the Residence Hall Association (RHA) on our campus, and this past year I was elected to sit on the Florida Association of Residence Halls (FARH) State Board of Directors (SBD), serving as the Associate Director of Administration (ADA). (I know, I know…too many acronyms) It’s always difficult to try to fully explain all of the different clubs and organizations I am a part of, and it’s not always easy explaining what the field of housing and residence life is, and or does on campus, but in my case if I could describe it in one word it would be “Foundation”. It was the beginning of Freshman year, I quickly realized this is where my heart belongs, working with students and making a difference in someone’s life. This weekend was the proof I needed to validate that fact. This year had been a tough one, and sometimes it’s the small reminders that take you back to reality and allow you recognize why certain decisions were made.
Being elected as the ADA by my peers was a great honor and privilege, and although it has been a challenging year I was able to learn so much about myself as a leader, a team player, and what it means to be a support system for others. At this conference I was awarded three different honors, and it just made me realize that I truly do make a difference. Among the three, was an award entitled the “Friend of Felippe” (Felippe being our mascot), but the significance of this award is that another member of the state board chose to give one to me. So, as I went up to present my 3 “Friend of Felippe” awards I did something a tad different, I dedicated my awards to three of the mentors and advisors that got me to this exact point. These three mentors not only believed in me, but trusted that I would do great things within the organization. Over the years with different styles of leadership and guidance they were instrumental in my personal growth process. In true Steph Fashion I didn’t write the average speech. On the contrary, I wrote a creative piece and I thought I would share it with you, and hopefully it resonates with you as well.
Life is a Beautiful Classroom
Thank you for being the greatest teacher.
Lets take a moment and look at our life’s journey as one big classroom
Sitting in the same seats day after day
Surrounded by the same people hour after hour
We would learn enough to get by if it stayed this way forever
Same seats, same people, same likes and dislikes
But are we truly learning what it means to live?
Now imagine a teacher walking into that classroom shaking up everything
Everything you once thought was perfect, just as is
Confusion, anger, a sense of betrayal
Listening as the teacher tells you to take those feelings and do something with them
Fight those feelings, not with violence, but with passion
The next morning you wake and head out the door for class
As you walk though the classroom you have the urge to try something new
This sudden urge to find your passion and do something about your feelings
Today you made a conscious choice
Different seats, different people, different likes and dislikes
Finding someone who has that same passion
Connecting with those whom believe in your cause
Finding confidence you never thought you possessed
Feeling worth you never thought you deserved
Living yesterday through the comfort of one perspective
Living today as part of a diverse world
All because you walked into my life and shook everything up.
This weekend I was surrounded by friends, advisors and executive board members who have that same exact passion I do for making a difference in this world. If you were there in the opening ceremony room you would have been floored by the amount of energy that was exuded by the students who filled the room. I have been through a lot with the organization, but the one thing that has been constant has been the promise for change. I have changed, I have grown, and I am a better version of who I once was because I found a group of people who believe in my successes. I put my heart and soul into things I am passionate about, but it’s because of the people I am surrounded by that make all the difference. I have met some of my best friends, and most profound mentors through this four year experience and with them I have created memories I will forever look back on. In the next few months the newest door to my life’s journey is going to open, and I’m not sure what opportunities or obstacles I will have to face, but I do know that no matter what happens my “Friends of Felippe” will always be there.
Is there someone in your life that has had significant affect on the person you have become?
That’s all I have for now,