Did you know: one blood donation can save the lives of up to three people?
I had the opportunity to participate in the University’s of Missouri’s annual Homecoming Blood Drive. I am not going to lie, I was a little nervous. But as I waited in line I received many encouraging text messages from chapter members, family and friends. It was pretty cool to see how many students were participating. Here are a few facts from the University of Missouri about what makes their blood drive so unique:
It is the largest blood drive on a college campus.
This year the American Red Cross collected 4,588 pints of blood. This will help at least 13,566 patients receive blood transfusions.
During the four day blood drive the American Red Cross registered 7,230 individuals.
The 100,000th donation was collected this year in Homecoming Blood Drive history.
All the blood collected during the blood drive the week prior to the homecoming football game will be used by kickoff time.
The last fact was shocking to me! So, I encourage you all to reach out to the American Red Cross and find a blood drive near you. According to the American Red Cross, it is estimated that 38% of the U.S. population is eligible to donate but less than 10% do each year. Make a difference and donate to save three lives!
Being a leadership consultant is synonymous with managing a lot of stress, traveling and crazy working hours! Multiple women this semester have said to me, “Autumn, I don’t know how you do it!” So I wanted to share the 5 best ways that I have found to manage my stress and to take care of myself:
5. Sing to music loudly in the shower.
I don’t know about any of y’all but for some reason singing loudly really helps me alleviate stress. So, every morning I load up my getting ready playlist on my iTunes and listen to my favorite songs while I am in the shower. Doing this in the morning to start off my day puts me in a great mood and gives me a positive outlook to tackle the day. I will also follow this same routine when I am stressed and just need to vent a little.
4. Get some fresh air.
Feeling the sunlight on my skin (because let’s be real, it’s ALWAYS sunny in Arizona) always brightens my mood. Something about being outside in the fresh air makes me feel better about what is going on in my life. Also, going outside breaks up the monotony of spending most of my time in meetings and my free time in my room sleeping or relaxing.
In college I attended mandatory workouts for ROTC, but I noticed upon becoming a leadership consultant that I no longer felt the motivation to work out (maybe because LCs don’t have to pass a fitness test every semester). This lack of exercise began taking a toll on my mood, my confidence, and started stressing my relationships. So I became proactive and joined the gym. Since I started going to the gym regularly I can honestly say that it has made a huge difference for me. I was worried that I wouldn’t use my gym membership, but I have found that I now look forward to going to the gym each day.
My favorite workouts to do come from bodyrock.tv. They are great workouts that you can do quickly, but still make you feel like you got a solid workout in. You should check it out! But I also like to pull from my prior weightlifting experience in high school. It always gives me a confidence boost to go into the weight room (which is usually filled with men) and do a quick workout, because for some reason it is surprising to the men that you are a woman and that you are lifting weights. You should try it sometime!
2. Make a to-do list.
Anyone who knows me knows that I live for to-do lists and using my planner. I love to have every minute of my day planned out so that I feel in control. But the beauty of creating a to-do list is the sense of satisfaction that you get from crossing something off. When I make a to-do list I always make sure to include things that I enjoy doing as well, so that I can make sure I am prioritizing my happiness and health. Sometimes, when my to-do list is long and overwhelming I like to prioritize it by importance. Once I mark the importance of the task it helps me find a place to schedule that task in the free time I have in my schedule.
1. Call/text/Skype family and friends.
Finally, keeping in contact with my family and friends is the habit that keeps me going in this crazy job. I am so thankful that they schedule themselves around my usually inconvenient availability to talk because otherwise, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.
Having past dance experience myself, including helping teach three and four-year-olds how to dance ballet and tap, this was something I could relate to. The song the girls are dancing to, Broadway Baby, also happens to be a number I performed at a young age. Coincidence? I think not.
After watching the video again, I realized that this is something that chapters can definitely relate to as well. In the video, you see the rest of the little girl’s classmates doing the dance they were taught, what could be considered traditional. Don’t get me wrong, traditions are wonderful and I am sure that is what the dance teacher was expecting of her student. However, the girl in the video has added her own spice to the dance she was taught, which proved to be more entertaining and I am sure more fulfilling for her.
When it comes to chapters, many times we become so used to doing what is traditional, and forget that we have the ability to step outside the box and try something different to enhance our experiences. Of course, traditions are wonderful. They are something special passed down from generation to generation. However, in our chapter experiences, it is important to remember that forever is many times a matter of four years and that times are continually changing. Why not move forward with it and try fresh ideas? From recruitment to social events to big/little sister reveal, trying new things could add to your Sigma Kappa experience. To all of the officers out there, it isn’t too late! Don’t hesitate to step out of the shadows of the past and try spicing things up a bit!
*Side note: This message does not include ritual. Ritual is timeless. 🙂
I have always loved music; dancing to it, singing to it, or (when riding in the car with my best friend) both at the same time! Although I’ve always enjoyed music, I’ve realized over the past couple of days that there is always a song playing in my head. Whether I’ve been listening to it or not, a song will lock itself in my brain, refusing to leave until a different one has taken its place.
This week, my internal iPod looks a little like this:
Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus
I wish I could hate this song, but unfortunately it is just too catchy (like all of Miley’s songs). The fact that it is constantly playing in my head is not a reflection of my true feelings toward her.
Roar by Katy Perry
Not only is Katy Perry amazing, but so is her music. I feel so empowered when I’m listening to her songs!
22 by Taylor Swift
My 23rd birthday was on Oct.15… so I am clearly in denial.
Holy Grail by Justin Timberlake and Jay Z
If I’m looking to be in a great mood, this is the song I need to hear. Although I am not a very big rap fan, I can’t help but try to do Jay Z’s part of this song. It’s the perfect mix of sweet and saucy!
Love Somebody by Maroon 5
Adam Levine. 🙂
Happy Thursday all! Sing a song and do a happy dance because tomorrow is FRIDAY!
Have you ever run 4 miles through a city attempting to avoid cracks in the sidewalk because you fear you may crack your mother’s back? Me either. But, I do have a long standing habit of subtly avoiding cracks in sidewalks. Perhaps it’s because my shoes often get caught in them (re: my heels break often) or because I tried so hard to avoid them as a child playing games that it’s now a permanent habit. I wouldn’t say that I am superstitious, but I have occasional precautions that I take. You know, just in case. Another thing I do while running is scavenge for pennies. Face up, face down, shiny, dull, American, Canadian, I collect them all.
I don’t know what it is about Bowling Green, Ky., but the town is a treasure trove filled with copious amounts of pennies. My mom told me that a heads up penny is good luck, and since mom said it, it must be true. I have had some of the silliest and luckiest things happen to me on days when I have found pennies. I once drove all the way to Alabama by accident when my end destination was Kentucky, and ended up finding a penny in the driveway upon our arrival. Needless to say, the day could only go up from there.
As Jan in Grease said, “See a penny, pick it up, all day long you’ll have good luck!”
College football season in in full swing, fall is here, and that means it is time for Homecoming (or for alumnae, coming home).
I spent a few of my personal days traveling back to my chapter of initiation, Beta Upsilon at Ohio University. Since I have spent the majority of my travels living on the West Coast, it is much different than the elements of the Midwest season I was so accustomed to in years past. Ladies, news flash, palm trees don’t change colors in the fall. It was a beautiful sight to see those fall colors that I love so much!
As I reminisced about my collegiate experience on the plane ride and the last moment I spent with my Beta Upsilon sisters, tears were pouring down my cheeks. I had to leave my sisters as we all dispersed to separate parts of the country to hopefully find our niche.
As I arrived on campus, I was walking across the brick streets as a completely different and positively changed woman. My sisters are all in different stages in life: some have full-time jobs, some are studying for the GRE, and some are continuing the frenetic job search.
After not seeing my sisters since the early summer months, the one piece I knew we all had in common was the element that we were now walking back into our sorority house as proud ALUMNAE.
This weekend helped me to fully understand the real meaning of lifelong membership and dedication to Sigma Kappa; besides the fact that I am fortunate to have the opportunity to work for Sigma Kappa on a national level.
One of the best moments of being an alumna was sharing funny stories beginning from the day we received our bid cards on Bid Day to the day we proudly stood next to each other during Order of the Triangle. We walked through the house to see what we contributed and realized how much this amazing organization had morphed us into the women we are today. Your collegiate experience was only a few years long, what do you think the organization can do for the rest of our lives?
The thought that I am an alumna is still quite outlandish to me. I wish I would have known the power of being an alumna and returning to the place I called home before I arrived. I am now excited to pass this experience on to all of you, because now as I am an alumna, my role has changed within my lifelong commitment to Sigma Kappa. As alumnae, our role is to support: we have been through our collegiate years, we can provide that guidance and check in to see what we, as alumnae, can do to help during busy moments of being a sorority woman.
Until then, there are ways that we can remember and honor the women that have made small or large contributions to make your chapter experience the way it is today. Did that alumna create a sisterhood tradition 10 years ago that will never dwindle away? Or did your great-grandbig create the ultimate scholarship plan that made Sigma Kappa the smartest women on campus? I encourage each and every one of you to reach out to your alumnae, especially during homecoming season, because hopefully all of you will have the same opportunity as myself to walk back into your chapter one day and see that you made a difference 🙂