#NoBoringDays

“‘I’m bored is a useless thing to say. I mean, you live in a great, big, vast world that you’ve seen none percent of. Even the inside of your mind is endless; it goes on forever, inwardly, do you understand? The fact that you’re alive is amazing, so you don’t get to say ‘I’m bored.'” –Louis C.K.

Sometimes it’s easy to forget how lucky we are to be living and breathing. I’m completely guilty of this. I take advantage of how fortunate I am to have fingers that type on a laptop and eyes that watch as the words appear on the screen. My mother says “Your health is your wealth” all the time. It is so true. I completely take for granted that my family and I are healthy and happy. I had a high school teacher who always said “Everyday above ground is a good day.” We hear and see these inspirational quotes every day, and they go in one ear and out the other.

Um so about binge-watching Netflix...

Shout out to inspirational Pinterest quotes for making me feel bad about binge-watching Netflix…

I’ve learned the importance of taking advantage of every opportunity. I don’t want to look back and wish I would have done certain things. Do you dream of a highly coveted job/college/internship/program that you don’t think you will ever get? Apply anyway. What do you have to lose? If you don’t get it, you will be in the same place you are now…except with the satisfaction of knowing that you tried. I’ve realized that time will pass no matter what, so it’s important to spend that time reaching for enriching opportunities and experiences. If you don’t, regret will creep in…which we all know is the absolute worst.

I am so thankful that my year on the road has allowed me to experience and explore so much of this big, vast country. During the last few weeks, I’ve traveled to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Parsippany, New Jersey; Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; Memphis, Tennessee; Lake Charles, Louisiana; Flagstaff, Arizona; San Jose, California and good ole Kansas. Literally coast-to-coast.

philly

How could we NOT take this picture in Philly?

While at the Epsilon Xi chapter at Northern Arizona University, I had the opportunity to watch the sunrise at the Grand Canyon. Two chapter officers and I woke up at 4 a.m. to arrive in time. Sacrificing a few hours of sleep was completely worth it. The view was absolutely incredible, and the pictures just don’t do it justice. There was something so majestic (never thought I would use that word in a blog post) and serene about my beautiful surroundings. Staring at this huge canyon (that’s been here for millions of years) made me realize just how small we are compared to the rest of the world. In the grand scheme of things, we are only here for a short time so it’s up to us to make the most of it.

GC

This view was insanely beautiful.

After my time in Arizona, I traveled to California to visit the Theta Pi chapter at Santa Clara University. Their campus is gorgeous (it has a rose garden!) The women were fantastic, and they took me to delicious restaurants and fun spots in the city. I even got to treat myself to an acai bowl.

santa clara

Palm trees on campus? Yes please.

From California, I went back home to Kansas for my spring break. Being home was fantastic, and I even road-tripped to Lawrence (home of THE University of Kansas) to see my friends in the area. I stayed with Julia (my best friend/ADPi sister/college roommate). She organized a group dinner at a Mexican restaurant with a bunch of my Tau sisters. I really don’t think there is anything more therapeutic than over-indulging in chips/salsa/guacamole/queso while talking to your good friends.

Julia organized a wonderful weekend with great people and food (two very important things.)

Julia organized a wonderful weekend with great people and food (two very important things.)

I love my Jayhawks!

Home is where the heart/Jayhawk is.

This semester has flown by. I cannot believe that it’s nearing the end of April…which means I am only weeks away from wrapping up my year of travel. I intend to soak up every remaining moment of this incredible opportunity. This is no such thing as a boring day…especially in the life of an Alpha Delta Pi Leadership Consultant.

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A Fresh Start

After a wonderful Christmas break in Florida with my family, I went back on the road. My first visit was to the Epsilon chapter at Tulane University for their formal recruitment. Savannah joined me on this visit, which was wonderful. In preparation for recruitment, we facilitated workshops, planned logistics and worked closely with chapter officers. In addition to prepping for formal recruitment, Savannah and I spent some of our free time exploring New Orleans. Savannah’s family came into town and took us to different restaurants and areas of the city. We went on a city bus tour and ate beignets (of course).

If you don't try on masks at multiple shops in the French Quarter, were you really in the French Quarter?

If you don’t try on masks at multiple shops in the French Quarter, were you really in the French Quarter?

After two weeks of late nights and hard work, the Epsilon chapter welcomed home a wonderful new member class. Savannah and I channeled our inner rock stars when dressing for their AC/DC themed Bid Day.

Savannah and I loved the fun theme!

Aviators + red lipstick are always a good idea.

From New Orleans I was off to Kingsport, Tenn. to work the District Leadership Conference (DLC) for District 2. Alpha Delta Pi’s chapters are divided into six geographic districts. Each district hosts a DLC each year to provide training for collegiate officers, advisors and house corporation members. It also allows the International Officers on the District team time to strategize for the future. In addition to working with hotel staff and managing the event, Katie and I had the opportunity to facilitate a workshop as well.

FullSizeRender (1)

It was a wonderful, leadership-filled weekend.

After DLC, I traveled to the Delta Omicron chapter at East Carolina University. I loved getting to know the chapter women as well as their chef, Ms. Wanda. She got wind of my love of guacamole, so she whipped up a fresh batch while I was there. In addition to being spoiled by Ms. Wanda, I had a wonderful time meeting with Delta Omicron’s executive board and other chapter officers.

Delta Omicron's house is just so cute.

I loved getting to know Madison, Delta Omicron’s chapter president.

From Greenville, I headed home for a couple of days to rest. I love family time, and it is always nice to be near my parents. After my brief rest stop, I headed to my first chapter on the West Coast–California State University, Chico for their formal recruitment. I flew into Sacramento, and two sweet chapter officers picked me up from the airport and took me to Chico, which is about an hour and a half away. We ate dinner at the Tea Bar & Fusion Cafe, which is a Chico staple. I completely understand this town’s obsession with the restaurant. It is so good. I still think about the Acaí Pomegranate sparkling tea!

While there, I stayed in their chapter house. In addition to several recruitment meetings, I met with the executive board and other chapter officers to discuss their positions and plans for the future. I had a great time getting to know this outstanding group of women.

Their campus is absolutely gorgeous!

Their campus is absolutely gorgeous!

I grew close to  the recruitment team. Taylor, Jenny and April are absolutely hilarious, and we kept each other sane while staying up until the wee hours of the morning. After finishing our duties one night, Taylor decided that we needed to go on an impromptu adventure. It was almost midnight, but we all piled in the car and headed to a lookout point on a mountain–where we had a great view of the city. On the way back to the chapter house, it came up that I had never been to In-N-Out Burger. This was immediately remedied as we stopped by the infamous fast food restaurant.

I treated myself to some french fries.

French fries at midnight #TreatYoSelf

I ended my West Coast visit with an amazing Bid Day. Bid Day is always so rewarding. Seeing new members run toward the house makes all of the hard work completely worth it. The Bid Day theme was “Welcome to the Diamond League.” In addition to planning a fun baseball theme, Eta Rho brought in a private food truck, a DJ and a bouncy house. It was an absolute blast, and I loved seeing how happy all of the new member were.

We had the best time welcoming more sisters to the Diamond League.

We had the best time welcoming more sisters to the Diamond League.

After my time in Cali, I headed back to Memphis to be with Gamma Eta. I’ve gotten the opportunity to visit them a few times throughout my time on the road, so it always feels good to be back. I met and brainstormed with chapter officers, attended a Panhellenic meeting and worked with chapter advisors. During my visit, Skylar (a wonderful Gamma Eta chapter member) and I took a day trip to Oxford, Miss. It was a blast.

Whether it's in Oxford, England or Oxford, Mississippi...I cannot resist a red phone booth picture.

Whether it’s in Oxford, England or Oxford, Mississippi…I cannot resist a red phone booth picture.

Skylar and I had the opportunity to meet Katie (a fellow LC sister) up for lunch. We took advantage of the sunny day to shop and explore the town. We also checked in on the progress of the Ole Miss ADPi house mansion. It will be absolutely beautiful! I am so excited for the women to move in and experience the brand new living space.

Insert heart eyes emoji here.

Insert heart eyes emoji here.

After visits on both coasts (with stops in Mississippi, Tennessee and the Big Easy), it’s been a busy start to the semester. I can’t wait to see what the rest of my time of the road holds!

Road Warrior Reflections: Halfway There

38 flights.

62 hours flying.

16 visits.

My semester as a Leadership Consultant has been a whirlwind to say the least. After the past few months, I completely understand why frequent business travelers are called road warriors. Bustling airports can resemble battlefields for a fatigued traveler with several reports to complete and emails to check. Lugging around two suitcases and a carry-on becomes burdensome, and I could probably recite the in-flight safety spiel from memory (listening to it 38 times within a few months will do that to a person.) Despite the inconveniences that come with frequent travel, it is so worth it.

How could I not take this picture? #NoFilter (Seriously.)

How could I not take this picture? #NoFilter (Seriously.)

I’ve met incredible women across the country. I met a sister who wrote for Saturday Night Live, a chapter president moving to Africa for the Peace Corps and a law-school-bound executive officer who would give Olivia Pope a run for her money on Capitol Hill.

In addition to being impressed by the accomplishments of these women, I am constantly surprised when I find connections to home. During a visit to a Southern school, I met a woman who grew up minutes from my alma mater (#RockChalk) with plans to move to Australia upon her graduation. I connected her to one of my chapter sisters who currently lives in the same Australian city. During a visit in the Northeast, I met a woman who plans to study abroad at the same Middle Eastern university one of my best friends studied at for one year. These interactions constantly remind me just how small the world is.

In addition to meeting wonderful people, I have been taken aback by their generosity. Women welcomed me into their homes and living spaces. At one chapter, the Recruitment and Marketing Vice President gave up her room for me during recruitment…AKA her most stressful week of the year. In addition to graciously hosting me, these women included me in their plans and made me feel like a part of their chapter. While in New Orleans, a sister spent her Saturday night showing me around the French Quarter. In Memphis, sisters invited me to a football game. During a visit in Pennsylvania, a group of chapter sisters and I bonded while watching hours of TLC. At that same chapter, women encouraged me to face my fears and join them on a trip to a Haunted House. Although I didn’t make it all the way through (I’ll save this hilariously embarrassing story for a different time), I appreciated the women for including me in their Halloween plans.

It doesn't get more New Orleans than beignets in the French  Quarter.

It doesn’t get more New Orleans than beignets at Cafe du Monde.

My last visit of the semester was in Charleston where Kathryn, Rachel and I prepped for the Installation of ADPi’s newest chapter. At the end of my visit, Ms. Pinkston (International President for those of you keeping track at home) graciously invited the three of us to join her for dinner on Kiawah Island. The generosity I’ve experienced on the road extends beyond Alpha Delta Pi as well. When a chapter president in South Carolina was unable to take me to the airport and the rest of the small chapter was taking exams, her mother stepped up without hesitation. During the 1.5 hour ride to the airport, she taught me about the Southern way of life–which included the correct way to make a batch of boiled peanuts.

We had a fabulous time filled with good conversation and laughter on the beautiful Kiawah Island.

After a week of hard work in Charleston, we had a fabulous time filled with good conversation and laughter on Kiawah Island.

In addition to bonding with sisters, I have felt tremendous gratitude when I see how my work impacts others. I spend most of my visits meeting and working with chapter leaders. During these officer-specific meetings, we discuss everything from chapter operations, public relations, membership education and recruitment (just to list a few.) Although a sorority provides a sisterhood, it also provides women with a business environment that enables them to cultivate valuable professional skills. Helping women achieve an improved sorority experience is incredibly rewarding.

These positive experiences encouraged me during my months on the road. I am lucky that my parents instilled a love for travel in our family early. We have covered most of the US, and we have explored South America and Europe multiple times. However, despite the amount of frequent flyer miles accumulated, traveling by yourself (once every few days) is completely different. Traveling from university to university has been unlike all my previous travel experience.

My family and I enjoying the view from the London Eye in 2010.

My family and I enjoying the view from the London Eye in 2010.

Traveling solo allows you to grow into your own person. When a flight gets cancelled, you can’t rely on your dad to march up to the counter and remedy the situation. When someone cuts you in the security line, you can’t wait for your sassy mom to speak up. When you are constantly surrounded by strangers in airports and on airplanes, you can’t turn to your brother and chat. When Sunday evening rolls around and you would like nothing more than to eat dinner with your family, you can’t join them. Although some moments may be uncomfortable, they allow you to grow. I am grateful for the unique growth experience that the LC life has provided.

At the conclusion of the semester, all nine consultants converged onto Atlanta to spend a week at Executive Office. I can speak for my sisters of the suitcase when I say that this reunion was exactly what we needed before heading off of the road. It is difficult to believe that the nine of us did not know each other at this time last year. During our December reunion, we shopped, had our Secret Santa reveal, bonded over travel stories, laughed until we cried and made unforgettable memories. I am so grateful for each and every one of them.

EO steps

Of course we had a Christmas photo shoot at Executive Office!

Of course we had a Christmas photo shoot at Executive Office!

After an amazing semester on the road, I intend on enjoying every minute of my Christmas vacation with my family and friends. This road warrior needs a few weeks of R&R before jumping back into the “battlefield.” I look forward to the adventures that next semester will bring!

How Sweet It Is

My next stop was the Gamma Eta chapter at the University of Memphis. Upon my arrival, a group of chapter women made it their mission to take me to Jerry’s Snow Cones. I quickly learned that Jerry’s is a critically-acclaimed Memphis staple that sells the best snow cones in the area. When we arrived, I peered out of the car window and saw a line of customers wrapped around the building. When we approached the window, I ordered the “Hurricane Elvis” because that’s just what you do in Memphis. After I took a bite, I completely understood the hype. It was literally the best snow cone of my life. I have no idea why/how the snow cone tasted so good, but I enjoyed every bite.

How could I not order the "Hurricane Elvis" ?

How could I not order the “Hurricane Elvis” ?

After cooling down with a snow cone, I went to the University of Memphis football game with Ali and Ava. It was so much fun to be back in a college football environment for the first time since being a KU student.

Ali, Ava and I had a blast cheering on the Tigers at the game.

Ali, Ava and I had a blast cheering on the Tigers at the game.

The members of Gamma Eta took me to some wonderful restaurants during my stay. Babalu Tacos & Tapas was one of my favorite restaurants I went to in Memphis. To start off the meal, we ordered fresh guacamole, which the waiter made at our table. If you know me at all, you know that I cannot resist anything made with avocados. Honestly, any entree on a menu becomes at least ten times more appealing with the word “avocado” in the description. After dinner, the four chapter members and I walked down the street to a local candy shop/bakery to satisfy our sweet tooth. These girls understand my love for food. In addition to eating at delicious restaurants during my time in Memphis, I met with officers and helped them plan and execute individual and chapter projects. I love that my job enables me to help women harness their leadership potential.

After seven chapter visits, I was excited to head home for the first time since LC training this summer. In addition to being home sweet home for the first time in two months, I was also happy to celebrate my birthday with my family. Instead of opting for a huge birthday cake, my mom and I went to Whole Foods and got a small cake, macaroons and mini tarts from the bakery. I definitely ate most of our sweet stash. No shame.

It was wonderful to spend my birthday with my family in my hometown!

It was wonderful to spend my birthday with my family in my hometown. Here’s to being 23!

My next visit was the Epsilon chapter at Tulane University. After landing in New Orleans, Casey took me to the residence hall where I stayed during my time with the chapter. After settling in, I began meeting with chapter officers and planning leadership development opportunities. The New Member Coordinator suggested picking up crêpes before our meeting. We walked to a little shop on the edge of campus and ordered our treats from the long menu that included breakfast, lunch and dessert crêpes. I ordered the French Funky Monkey, which was filled with bananas, peanut butter and chocolate chips. It was simply amazing. If I was a Tulane student, I would probably get crêpes for almost every single meal.

A crepe a day keeps the doctor away.

A crêpe a day keeps the doctor away.

During my visit, the Epsilon chapter hosted a philanthropy event, benefitting Ronald McDonald House Charities. Their event was a mocktail competition called “Prohibition Competition.” Groups from all over campus were invited to mix up their best mocktail for the judges to determine a winner. I later learned that one of the judges was from the Food Network show “Chopped.” No pressure, right?  In addition to the mocktail competition, participants had the opportunity to try delicious food from area restaurants. One of the vendors even brought a juice stand and made freshly pressed fruit and veggie concoctions all evening. They were delicious.

While in New Orleans, I had dinner with Mrs. Bruton, who serves Alpha Delta Pi’s Grand Council as an International Vice President of Collegiate Membership. We ate at a local restaurant and chatted for almost two hours. It was so nice to be able to catch up with Mrs. Bruton before she headed to her Grand Council meeting the next day. I feel so lucky that my job enables me to travel and connect with amazing people all over the country. The past few weeks were filled with sweet treats, sweet people and home sweet home. I couldn’t ask for more than that.

Nearing the End of Recruitment Season

My next stop was the Theta Iota chapter at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pa. Phoebe and Carly greeted me at the Harrisburg airport, and we travelled for about an hour and a half to Lewisburg. At Bucknell, each sorority has a suite, which is a wing of the same residence hall. I arrived at the end of the first day of recruitment, and I instantly felt at home. Even though their academic, sorority and co-curricular schedules were incredibly busy, the chapter women still welcomed me with open arms. Jen, the Finance Vice President, took me on a tour of their beautiful campus. The buildings are gorgeous, and their quad looks like it belongs in a movie.

Normally, students hang out on the quad in between classes and play frisbee, do homework and catch up with each other.

Normally, students hang out on the quad in between classes and play frisbee, do homework and catch up with each other.

My roommates for the week (Tori, Wallis and Ivy) helped me explore the adorable town of Lewisburg through amazing local restaurants and boutiques. I had everything from delicious Thai food at Siam to a wonderful arugula salad at Pronto, a European-style deli. I thoroughly enjoyed Lewisburg’s abundance of local restaurants and shopping in its picturesque downtown district.

At the end of the last day of recruitment, we all went to the on-campus cafeteria for a late-night meal. Although the word cafeteria conjures up images of mediocre mystery meat, Bucknell’s cafeteria completely shatters that stereotype. The food is amazing. (I even saw business cards for an executive and sous chef!) All freshmen have unlimited meal plans, so they can fill up on everything from freshly prepared organic meals to late-night breakfast sandwiches. The food was delicious and just what we needed after a jam-packed week of recruitment.

Mary Elizabeth, the Membership Education Vice President, took me to Ard’s Farm for breakfast the next day. I had a farm-fresh veggie omelet, which was absolutely divine. I enjoyed getting to know her and finding out that she knows one of my Tau chapter sisters, Katie. It turns out that Mary Elizabeth and Katie were roommates during their internship in Washington D.C. this summer. What a small world!

Ard's Farm has a beautiful view and an array of farm-fresh offerings on its menu.

Ard’s Farm has a beautiful view and an array of farm-fresh offerings on its menu.

I traveled from Bucknell University to Francis Marion University in Florence, S.C. The cultural differences were immediately apparent when Ellis and Kasey greeted me at the airport along with their charming Southern accents. Although recruitment kept us all very busy, the chapter women made time to show me around Florence and introduce me to Zaxby’s, the Waffle House and Stefano’s (a local Italian restaurant.) We had fun comparing life in the South to life in other parts of the country. I learned that they call shopping carts “buggies” and the phrase “bless your heart” can never be overused.

After recruitment, we were ready to welcome home our new sisters on Bid Day. At Francis Marion, the three sororities wait in the student union as each potential new member walks (more like runs) out individually to her new group of sorority sisters. The chapter women had no idea which group new members chose, so watching where each woman ran to was exciting. Some tricksters started running to one group and then darted to their chosen group. Overall, the process was a fun surprise, and the women kept us on our toes.

The three sororities anxiously awaited their new members.

The three sororities anxiously awaited their new members.

For my last dinner in Florence, we all went to a local Mexican restaurant. There is just something so therapeutic about downing chips, salsa and guacamole while hanging out with your sisters. Overall, the chapter women were absolute sweethearts.

From Florence, I flew to Beaumont, Texas to visit the Delta Beta chapter at Lamar University. After Johanna and Madeline picked me up from the airport, they took me to my on-campus apartment for the week. I had my own bedroom, living room and bathroom.

At Delta Beta, several alumnae returned to help during recruitment. I had such a great time getting to know all of them. I enjoyed bonding with Joan over Ipsy (a service that sends you a “Glam Bag” filled with makeup/beauty products each month). I also loved getting to know Shelby, a recent alumna whose hidden talents include doing the worm. The advisors were also fabulous. They were so supportive of my visit, and I loved spending time with them.

Thanks to the generosity of the alumnae and other sororities/fraternities on campus, we had plenty of cookie cake, snacks and other food to power us through the week. At one point, we had three huge cookie cakes! One of the fraternities even delivered a “Survival Box” to each of the sororities, which included everything from bobby pins and hairspray to Red Bull and mints.

DB_sign

I loved this punny sign that welcomed the potential new members.

I loved getting to know the Delta Beta women. I went to Rao’s, a local bakery, with Madeline. There, I tried (and loved) the pumpkin pie soy latte. One day, I went to lunch with Carly at a wonderful local restaurant. Afterwards, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to shop in the boutique next door. I also loved spending time with Rebecca, and I still appreciate her hooking a sista up with detergent so I could do my laundry.

After recruitment came Bid Day. Delta Beta’s theme was “Run ADPi” inspired by Run DMC. At Lamar, all of the new members run to their new sorority sisters at the same time. The excitement of Bid Day cannot be overstated, and I am so lucky to have the opportunity to experience so many Bid Days.

Because the best kind of selfies are Bid Day selfies.

Because the best kind of selfies are Bid Day selfies.

Throwing diamonds for the first time as a group! They grow up so fast.

Throwing diamonds for the first time as a group! They grow up so fast.

After taking tons of pictures and teaching the new members how to throw diamonds, we all headed to a local roller rink for the rest of our celebration. There, we ate dinner (which included more cookie cake) and skated.

I loved hanging out with these ladies.

I loved hanging out with these ladies.

Everyone said that sweet Johanna and I could be related.

Everyone said that sweet Johanna and I could be related.

Overall, every single Delta Beta sister was welcoming and made me feel at home. They all made my last formal recruitment visit of the semester absolutely fabulous.

A Little Piece of Home

My second stop was the Delta chapter at the University of Texas at Austin. After landing in Austin, I was greeted by three sweet seniors- Bristol, Megan and Emily. They took me on a quick tour of Austin that included the Ronald McDonald House of Austin. Ronald McDonald House Charities has been the national philanthropy of ADPi since 1979, so it was wonderful to visit one during my travels. The Ronald McDonald House provides a home away from home for families with children being treated in the hospital. Instead of worrying about coordinating a hotel room/meals near the hospital, families can stay in a Ronald McDonald House for little to no cost. There, families can enjoy home-cooked meals, private rooms and playrooms. You can read more about the Ronald McDonald House here.

I love this message of hope displayed in the community room at the Ronald McDonald House in Austin.

I love this message of hope displayed in the community room at the Ronald McDonald House in Austin.

After touring the building and seeing where the chapter women volunteer, I was surprised when Emily Franke came walking toward me. Emily and I were both in the KU ADPi chapter at the same time. She was actually the formal recruitment chair when I came through recruitment as a PNM (potential new member.) It was such a wonderful surprise to see a familiar face working at the Ronald McDonald House! It was so sweet of the chapter women to coordinate that surprise for me.

The women of the Delta chapter support this room where families can stay while their children are being treated at the nearby hospital.

The women of the Delta chapter support this room where families can stay while their children are being treated at the nearby hospital.

Immediately after arriving at the beautiful ADPi chapter house, I walked in on one of their last workshops in preparation for recruitment. Everyone I met was so sweet and friendly. I witnessed my first Texas door stack (where the women sing and chant in the doorway) and they walked me out of the house as if I were a potential new member. Whoever said that everything is bigger in Texas is correct—especially when it comes to sorority recruitment.

I stayed in the executive suite of the chapter house with Helen, the chapter president. She is such a sweetheart, and I loved getting to know her. I also loved getting to know Tracey (Formal Recruitment Chair) and Nicole (Recruitment & Marketing Vice President). Tracey is hilarious, and Nicole had a wonderful way of staying calm during the most stressful times. I also loved getting to know Sarah and Megan, who were other members of the recruitment team. They were a constant source of laughter.

Observing the recruitment parties brought me back to when I was a PNM going through the recruitment process at KU. I remember feeling completely overwhelmed after visiting all 13 sororities on the first day of recruitment. Despite the stress and nerves, I found my home in Alpha Delta Pi four years ago. Little did I know that joining the ADPi sisterhood would help me develop into a stronger leader and woman.

Although we had several late nights during recruitment at Delta, the women made it all worth it. Even when we were up until the wee hours of the morning, their attitudes remained positive and someone found the energy to crack a joke. Everyone from the chapter women to house staff to advisors were so welcoming and made me feel at home.

The UT-Austin campus so pretty.

I just love the UT campus.

From Delta chapter, I headed to the Theta Alpha chapter at Northwest Missouri State University. After flying into Kansas City, I was picked up by Abby, the Director of Social Enrichment. After about an hour and a half, we arrived in Maryville, Missouri. At Northwest, each sorority has a wing in a residence hall (Roberta Hall) where its members live. I stayed in a guest room on the Alpha Delta Pi floor. It was so nice, and it reminded me of a hotel room.

The student union was right across the street from Roberta Hall. This convenient location made it incredibly easy to eat way too much Chick-Fil-A and Einstein Bagels…which inevitably happened. #NoRegrets

I had the opportunity to visit Theta Alpha during their Spirit Days, which are designed to prepare the chapter for the mechanics of formal recruitment. I was so proud of the women for how hard they worked throughout the week. Everyone from Regina, the Recruitment & Marketing VP, to Jessica, the chapter president, had such fantastic attitudes.

NWMS tower

Here I am exploring the campus (in between Chick-Fil-A and Einstein Bagel runs)

Due to my travel schedule, I spent the night in Kansas City before flying out to my next visit. Instead of staying at a hotel, I made plans to stay with my best friend (and fellow ADPi) Julia. We lived together during all four years at KU, so we are incredibly close. I still think that we were born into separate families because no set of parents could handle raising us together 🙂

Of course Julia and I had to take a picture together!

Of course Julia and I had to take a picture together!

After reuniting with her, we decided to head to Lawrence for dinner. It was so nice being back in Lawrence for the first time since graduation. We dined at Genovese, and I ate every bit of my gnocchi. After dinner, we stopped by the ADPi house to see who was around and to check out the beautiful, renovated kitchen. It was wonderful to catch up with some of my chapter sisters and Mom Shirley, our house mother. Although I haven’t been home to Wichita since beginning my travels, I felt like I experienced a piece of “home” by spending time with Julia and visiting the KU ADPi house. It was such a treat. Until next time, Kansas!

Home sweet home at the KU ADPi house.

Home sweet home at the KU ADPi house.

The Beginning…

 As a Leadership Consultant for Alpha Delta Pi, I will travel across the country and visit different universities during the next year. During my visits, I will work with chapters in the areas of recruitment, officer training and leadership (just to name a few). I feel so lucky to be part of this amazing group of women.

After packing my life into two suitcases and a carry-on, I was ready to hit the road.

After months of anticipation, I finally began my year as an Alpha Delta Pi Leadership Consultant. After arriving in Atlanta at the end of July, the other eight consultants and I (who all come from different schools across the country) began training for the year ahead. We were trained on everything from Total Membership Education, Finance, Panhellenic, Recruitment and so much more. We were so grateful that very accomplished (and busy) Alpha Delta Pi alumnae traveled to Atlanta from around the country just to train us. In addition to being trained by experts, the nine of us lived in Memorial Headquarters (which is connected to Executive Office.) Living in a place so rich in tradition was such a privilege!

commute

We had the best commute to work! This walkway connects Memorial Headquarters and Executive Office.

In addition to soaking up tons of knowledge, it was a blast living with the other consultants. We took a field trip to Macon, which is the birthplace of Alpha Delta Pi. There, we visited the grave of our founder, Eugenia Tucker Fitzgerald and Wesleyan College, where our secret society first began in 1851. We also squeezed in one too many trips to Target and the mall during our free time. The nine of us shared many laughs and many late nights.

In addition to being the birthplace of Alpha Delta Pi, Wesleyan College was the first college to grant degrees to women.

After three weeks of training at Executive Office, we all scattered across the country for our first visits. Although we would miss being with each other (and cruising around Atlanta in two red mini-vans), we were all excited to head to our first chapter visits.

As the last consultant to leave, Annie (our boss AKA Mother Hen) drove me up to the terminal. After hugging her goodbye, I somehow managed to maneuver two large suitcases (and a carry-on) into the airport terminal by myself.

After making it through security and eating lunch, I boarded the flight bound for Hattiesburg, Mississippi. After a turbulent ride (shout out to thunderstorms) I arrived in Hattiesburg, which is home to the University of Southern Mississippi. After landing, the jitters started to settle in. Was I prepared for my first visit? Would I be able to help them? However, as soon as I saw Bobbi and Chelsea wearing their ADPi shirts and smiling, my worries dissipated. These two sweet sisters came to pick me up from the airport, and they barely let me lift a finger when loading my suitcases in the car. The three of us bonded over how awful it is to be “hangry” (hungry+angry). I also loved hearing about their areas of study and their aspirations for the future.

Within minutes of arriving at the Eta Zeta chapter, I was offered cake balls (yum) and was introduced to Maui Monday (which is wearing a Hawaiian shirt on Mondays because why not?) The Eta Zeta sisters were so welcoming and made me feel at home. Sarah Beth, who is chapter president, graciously gave up her room for me to stay in during the week.

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The lovely Alpha Delta Pi house at the University of Southern Mississippi.

During Spirit Week, Eta Zeta prepared for formal recruitment. Recruitment is a huge production that takes many hours of careful practice and planning, and I was happy to help out Eta Zeta in any way that I could. I was lucky to work alongside Sarah Beth and Alexis (Recruitment Chair). Overall, I had a great first visit, and I cannot wait to see what the rest of my year has in store!