by Lauren Elliott, Alpha Chi (Western Kentucky U), 2019-2020 Educational Leadership Consultant
There have been several moments throughout this semester that I’ve had to pinch myself because it doesn’t seem real that I’m actually serving AOII as an Educational Leadership Consultant (ELC). Becoming an ELC has been a dream of mine since the first ELC visited my chapter. I’ve been on the road for 77 days and no single day looks the same. Whether it’s a totally new recruitment round or the fact that I’m traveling across the country, I am surrounded by change, new atmospheres and new people daily. There is one thing, however, that has stayed constant throughout my entire journey – I am beyond thankful.
This job is such a dream and I have met some truly amazing people and have seen some beautiful places. Though this is a wonderful job, sometimes it’s not the most glamorous. Even in the moments where things aren’t so glamorous, I’m quickly given a moment where I’m feeling thankful. I think about the time I was going to Phi Upsilon (Purdue U). I had my two checked-bags, which both weighed in right at 50 pounds, my purse and a backpack. Needless to say, I had a lot of stuff. I was leaving the baggage claim at the Indianapolis airport and headed up the escalator to Enterprise. Those who have tried to haul two suitcases, a backpack on your back, and a purse that you’re hoping doesn’t tip over, all while wearing a dress, can feel my pain. If you can’t, just imagine my struggle! A kind man saw me step onto the escalator with hesitation and offered to help me get to Enterprise. This might have seemed like a small kind gesture, but to me, it made my day. I might not have felt very glamorous, but I was feeling extra thankful for that kind man.
I can say very earnestly I couldn’t do this job without the support from the rest of the ELC team. We have such an incredible bond and truly can’t go days… no, hours… without talking to each other. They’re my constant support when I might be missing my friends and family, the ones I turn to when I have a question regardless of how silly it may seem, and my comic relief when I need a good laugh. The first Friday night of our training we were all exhausted and needed to get to know each other better so we agreed to put our phones up and be in the moment. We went around the table asking questions like, “if you could be on any reality TV show what would you be on?” This quickly became tradition at all of the meals that we shared together. To my ELC team, I wish I could express in words how grateful I am for you. I love you guys!
Gratitude and an attitude of being thankful is something I have shared with all of the chapters that I’ve had the privilege of meeting so far. Before I leave each chapter, I tell them three things that I’m grateful for from my visit then I ask chapter members to share with each other things that they’re grateful for in AOII. To name a few examples, at Upsilon (U of Washington), I was grateful for sisters who always let me cut in line and be the first one to eat. It’s the little things! At Sigma Rho (Slippery Rock U), I couldn’t be more thankful for having them welcome me to their wonderful sisterhood and make me feel so special. This has been such an uplifting exercise and I’m excited to continue this tradition.
I’m so thankful to serve as an ELC and for all the people I’ve met so far. I hope this inspires you to find gratitude in the little things and tell someone you know how thankful you are for them!