“Take it all in. If you don’t, you’ll miss something important. This is a once in a lifetime experience. Take advantage of it.” My sister, who attended Leadership School in 2013, gave me this advice before I left for Newark, New Jersey, to take part in my own Leadership School.
Now I know what you’re thinking. “What a dramatic opening for a blog written about sorority summer Leadership School!” I’ll admit – I was skeptical at first, too. But I truly feel like this quote encompasses the Leadership School experience.
Walking into a room filled with hundreds of SDT women is quite a unique experience. I didn’t know most of these women, but we all have a few things in common. Here we all are, wondering why we made the choice to come here. Here we all are, volunteering a weekend of our summer trying to learn something. Here we all are, sisters. Here I am (being dramatic once again) trying to express to you how much this conference has impacted me as a member of the Upsilon chapter, as a member of SDT, and as a person.
Over the course of the weekend we had discussions about Recruitment and how to ensure Preference round runs smoothly. We talked about Risk Management and the safety of our members, had business meetings, and even made a keepsake box. (What’s a sorority conference without a little crafting, am I right?) But we also learned about social intelligence, how to hold meaningful conversations, how to be better leaders, better women. These are the lessons that we are going to take with us, bring back to our respective chapters and use for the rest of our lives.
Coming to Leadership School allowed me to make connections with my sisters from all across the country. I had the opportunity to meet with alumnae, our national office staff, and even our National Board of Directors. I listened to all of their advice, heard their stories, and shared my own. My sister was right. Leadership School truly was a once in a lifetime opportunity.
One of the keynote speakers said something that really stuck with me. “People don’t join a sorority because of their amazing date parties or formals. People don’t join a sorority because of their decorations on preference day. People join people.” Now don’t misunderstand me. As one of our Vice Presidents of Recruitment, I know how important those things are and we did talk about them over the course of the weekend. But this weekend was so much more than that. This weekend has reminded me of how lucky I am to have joined such a phenomenal group of people.
Jessica Horwitz, Upsilon-Indiana University, is studying Journalism.