NSLS-It’s more than just a fee.

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This is me speaking at the NSLS induction ceremony in April of 2017.

When I entered college, I knew I wanted to keep my involvement up. I was involved quite a bit in high school and wanted to carry that into college. During my college orientation, a common theme among the orientation mentors was involvement. Some of the students told us that they regretted not getting involved earlier. That really stuck with me and it’s something that I will remember for the rest of my life.

Within the first couple weeks of my first semester, I really took advantage of the involvement fair. At the involvement fair that semester, I signed up for Bible Study, the Newspaper, Music/Poetry club, Art club, Psychology club, History club, English club, Curling(which is a new sport in the Olympics), W.I.N.D, Circle K, Public Relations club, Student Senate and Theatre club.

Out of those clubs, I am an active member of three of them. I realized that signing up for all of those, would really put me behind in my school work. One of the clubs that I kept hearing about was the National Society of Leadership and Success. That was one table that I didn’t stop by that day. I just thought “honor society, I’ll never make it in” and really had no interest.

My second semester of my freshman year, my friend Brittany and I got an email about the National Society of Leadership and Success. We were both invited to join. The first thing I thought, was that it was a scam. The reason I thought it was a scam, was because you had to pay a fee. However, I got the email on my birthday and was feeling lucky. I eventually paid the fee and thought “okay, well I’ll give it a shot.” I attended the orientation with a closed mind. However, I did pay attention because part of me wanted to learn more about the organization. The students running the orientation told us how amazing it was to be in the organization and how many doors it’ll open up for us down the road. That’s when my mind opened up a little bit more. I thought that maybe if I go in with an open mind, I will get more out of it. Well, I certainly did. I did a lot of self discovery during the induction process. I remember one moment at Leadership Training day, we had to write down what we thought our purpose was. That was the one part that I left blank. I had no idea what my purpose was. However, it was good that I realized that now, then later in my life. It was such an eye opening day for me. Another part of the induction process, was to attend three speaker broadcasts. The one I remember the most was Anderson Cooper. I’ve always been a fan of him and thought it was so cool that we could watch him live. A few weeks before induction, I had heard that the NSLS e-board was looking for new members. I decided to apply. I wanted to get involved more that semester, as I was used to college life by that time. I broke out my pant suit and wrote out a resume, as I didn’t know how professional the interview was going to be. I remember being really scared for the interview. I thought, “maybe I’ll just stay for a semester and then quit.” A few days after my interview, I found out that I received Success Networking Team Coordinator. At first I was a little upset, considering that was not my first choice in a position. I thought that the advisor did not see what I was capable of.

After that, I found out that for my induction, I had to sit with the e-board, as I was an up and coming e-board member starting the following semester. I also had to help set up for induction and go to the e-board meeting the night before. I still remember that first e-board meeting. I sat on the end of the table, with my mouth shut. I thought to myself “what did I get myself into?” I was so nervous and so scared. I didn’t want to ask too many questions, even though I didn’t understand what was going on. I only really knew one other person on the e-board, as we were in bible study together. I figured that I could just ask her after the meeting what was going on.

For the induction, we all had to get there around nine that morning to start setting up. We all had different tasks, but I found myself constantly asking “am I doing this right?” I just wanted to make a good impression. That’s all. I didn’t want to get kicked out before I even had to start. I was constantly told that I was doing just fine and that I had nothing to worry about.

Towards the end of the induction, our advisor acknowledged all of the e-board members and thanked us for all of our hard work. At the time, I didn’t think that applied to me. All I did was attend one e-board meeting and then help with induction. However, when our advisor said my name along with “in coming SNT coordinator”, something changed inside of me. I stood up tall and embraced that moment. I smiled at my parents and my grandma who were watching me get that attention. I was finally here. That was the moment that I knew that I would be in this society for the long run.

When I officially started that following semester, I gained some confidence that I never had. I really never had thought of myself as a leader. I was always that girl that listened to everybody else’s ideas and never had the confidence to pitch my own. This time was different. At that first e-board meeting the following semester, I was very vocal and shared my opinion on things. When SNT’s were getting overwhelming, I spoke up. I didn’t leave anything behind. I asked for help when I needed it and I was never ashamed of that. Also, my first actual semester of being on the e-board, myself, two other e-board members and our advisor traveled to Baltimore for the NSLS retreat. There, we met so many other students and chapter leaders that were doing the same things we were. We shared our ideas, thoughts and our overall experience with the society. That was one weekend, that I wanted to relive over and over again. It was such a rewarding experience.

The semester after, I was a little bit more experienced. After having one semester down of being SNT coordinator and attending the NSLS retreat, I knew what I was doing. However, there was one day last semester that I was feeling very overwhelmed. With being SNT coordinator, you deal with a lot of emails. That day, I was getting so many emails from students regarding their SNT groups. I felt extremely overwhelmed at that moment and didn’t really know what to do. That’s when I texted my advisor. I explained my situation and just asked if I could do my work in her office. She told me that I didn’t need to ask and to just come up. I ended up staying in her office for about an hour and a half. I got all of my work done and we chatted after that. I was so grateful that she did that. It just showed me how much she cared for us. That was another moment that I knew I had made the right choice to pay the fee.

Now, as the current president of the Utica College chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success, I can now say that deciding to join really changed my life. I have gained so many life skills and have learned so much about myself, other people and the world around me. I have absolutely no regrets about joining.

The National Society of Leadership and Success is more than just a society. It’s more than just paying a fee and calling it a day. It’s more than just a resume builder.

It’s a life changing society.

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