Who was I kidding, anyway? I had only been in Kappa Delta for two semesters. I was a shy sophomore. Nine other girls were running for the same position of Vice President of Public Relations. I had wet hair and two different socks on at chapter meeting because I was running late. I didn’t even have a speech prepared.
When the president read my name as the selected candidate, genuine shock washed through my body, followed by elation, followed by an increasing feeling of dread. At no point of applying did I even consider that I would get chosen. I applied because I was Assistant to Vice President of Public Relations and a Public Relations major so people told me I should. I did it on a whim. But here I was, walking towards the front of the room to take my new seat as a member of Council, and I was absolutely terrified. Leaders aren't supposed to be terrified. Leaders are supposed to know what they're doing. What did I really know about being a leader?
It still confuses me to this day what the 190 intelligent, confident, beautiful women in my chapter saw in me, but they saw something. It didn’t matter if I believed in myself. I was going to have to, because my chapter did. If such amazing women thought I could be an effective member of Council and lead our chapter, I guess I had to do just that. I couldn’t be shy or doubt myself anymore. I had to step up. I had to be the confident woman that Kappa Delta thought I was.
Council made me feel like I had declared a second major in Kappa Delta with all the time and energy I invested into it. It wasn’t a perfect experience. It was time-consuming, frustrating and stressful at times. But what I got out of it, what almost every Panhellenic woman who has served on her executive board has gotten out of it, made it all worth it. You learn so much about being a leader, about your sisters, about your organization and most importantly, you learn about yourself.
Being on the executive board took me out of the comfort zone and challenged me as a person. I opened up so much more. I learned to problem solve with poise. I effectively led and represented almost 200 women. I grew from a shy sophomore into a confident, capable young woman. It was a transformative experience.
We are lucky to be in a community with so many leadership opportunities. So when you hear about a position that you are passionate about, apply, even if you're terrified, even if you didn't think you could do it, even if you don't think you'll get it. I remember that feeling, and I'm so grateful I applied despite that fear. Don't let those anxieties hold you back from a position that could enrich your four years here at San Diego State University.
Leadership experiences look good on a resume, sure. But getting involved can also change your leadership style, outlook, college experience, personality and life. It certainly did for mine.