There’s an App for That!

Addison Reed, Delta Upsilon Chapter, Missouri State University
Addison Reed, Delta Upsilon Chapter, Missouri State University

As a traveling consultant, you learn the tricks of the trade in order to survive. Traveling to 16 universities across 13 different states with a luggage weight limit of 50lbs is a challenge. I used to be scared and anxious of the traveling challenges ahead. But have no fear, because there is an app for that! Below are my tips to become a traveling pro with a little help from the app store.

The  key to organization: 

downloadTraveling requires organization and attention to detail.  It would be easy to miss a connecting flight because you don’t know the gate difference or forget which airline you are using. But there is an app for that!  My favorite is TripCase. You can forward your flight itinerary to trip case and it will arrive in your app trip list in seconds!

Frequent flyer programs are bae: 

icon175x175If you haven’t already signed up to be a frequent flyer member for your favorite airline, you are missing out. It is quick and easy and better yet, FREE! I use Expedia to book travel because you double dip by gaining Expedia points and frequent flyer points for any airline you add to your account. Plus, each airline has it’s own app that can send you notifications of delays and flight changes.

Taxis? What are those?

lyftI’m sure you have heard about the transportation services Uber and Lyft. But I’m here to tell you that you should jump on the bandwagon and use them during your travels. I have always had the best experience using either service. And both even offer discounts/free rides if you refer a friend!

Managing a traveling closet: 

womenTraveling requires packing preparation. And when your job is to travel from coast to coast, you need a wardrobe for all weather. I use the Stylebook app to organize every piece of clothing I have packed. You can mix and match outfits on the app and pick your favorite styles! Plus, it prevents you from leaving your favorite piece of clothing behind.

Want a mini vacation?

434792-airbnb-logoHave you ever wanted to live in a beach house in California, or visit a penthouse loft in New York City? Well now you can! Airbnb allows you to rent amazing properties like a hotel. The site is user friendly and I have heard nothing but great experiences from using the service. Check it out!

Music in your pocket: 

spotifyThe best post-graduation purchase I made was Spotify Premium. It’s like having all of your favorite artists and songs in one spot. You can skip songs as many times as your heart desires and create unique playlists to share with friends.  And guess what? There is an app for that!

Dove Love,

Addison Reed

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There’s always gonna be another mountain, you’re always gonna want to make it move.

OliviaFitchett

During my short time as a LC, I’ve hiked two mountains. One in Reno, Nevada and one in Golden, Colorado. The view was so amazing.

Here’s Reno…Photo 3

Here’s Golden…Photo 1-2

Each with it’s own beauty and unique view of creation all around! What an awesome perspective it is to see the world thousands of feet above sea level. Here’s what I know to be true about climbing mountains during my visits…

  1. You need a buddy.

Shout out to my homies who lovingly fed my hunger for adventure! I had no idea where I was going, I would’ve gotten SO lost.

 

  1. You need water and breaks.

The air is thinner, your heart may race and you may need a break. I come from living in a valley below sea level… I struggled for sure.

 

  1. Sometimes ascending is gradual, other times you have to scale a wall and hope you don’t fall.

I told the members I have the hotline on speed dial on my phone if they need to report a slightly overcommitted LC.
Photo 4 (Scaling a wall…)

  1. The view is worth it!

 

  1. You have officer meetings later, you have to come down eventually.

 

This concept strangely parallels with our life experience, doesn’t it? You’ve heard it before, the “mountain top experience”. Life is a mountain – a few hundred of them! The learning curve never seems to end in life; just like climbing a mountain you have to keep your eyes pealed for loose rock, handholds, and your next steps. Challenging yourself in life in order to get to the top to see the view can be dangerous, you have to be resilient! Here’s what I know to be true about “life” mountain climbing. The same rules apply.

  1. You still need a buddy.

You aren’t walking alone. No matter the joyful days, bad days or mundane! It’s probably a good thing too, because like climbing a mountain, you’d get lost without some good friends, family and mentors!

 

  1. You still need water and breaks.

You need to be making time for LIFE, adventuring, and having fun! Take time every day to regroup and refresh before going on to the next big thing! Really learn to intentionally go out of your way to enjoy where you are. This will help you when you feel bogged down by the day’s demands!

 

  1. Sometimes ascending is gradual, other times you have to scale a wall and hope you don’t fall.

Some days are so much harder than others when going up a “life mountain”. Sometimes healing and change happens gradually and you can forget about your trials for a while and relax. However, you may be clinging onto the side of the mountain the next moment awaiting rescue. Expect some intervals during your climb. This makes things interesting and allows for some personal growth.

 

  1. The view is worth it!

At the top of the mountain, you can look at all of your problems as little buildings and small cars far off in the distance. We see clearly when we remove ourselves out of the situation and stand confidently on top of it – YOU DID IT AND YOU ROCK!!!

 

  1. You have to come back down…

In order to enjoy the mountain top experience to it’s fullest, you have to know what the valley looks like. When you are grounded and ready to take on another challenge, I suggest visiting Nevada or Colorado – there are lots of mountains!!!

 

 

Challenge yourself today and be a blessing to others along the way!

Olivia

The one where I have so much going on!

Cossette Powley - Zeta Omicron Chapter, University of Arizona
Cossette Powley – Zeta Omicron Chapter, University of Arizona

Hey readers,

After a little bit of a hiatus, I have some exciting news. I’M ENGAGED.

This major life event came to me as a TOTAL surprise…no joke I had NO idea. Once the excitement had set in I had so many things to start considering, like so many things!

Thankfully there is so much help out there for all brides. I get so much joy in reading so many blogs, lists on lists and did I mention Pinterest!? While this came at a very bizarre time in my life it has honestly been such a wonderful thing. I would say that having an additional thing on my plate has been the best remedy.

Balancing my personal life and my Sigma Kappa life is preparing me in so many ways. Before this I was able to manage things pretty well, but now that this major life event has come into the picture…I’m having to retrain myself.

So here is what I’ve got.

  1. I got a NEW planner…one that not only manages my months but my wedding ideas!
    • Thank you future SILs ❤
  2. Relying so much more on my iCal and my Google Drive…this is where my day-to-day schedules live. I am so grateful that different pieces of technology can talk to each other.
  3. BTW I am currently looking for employment…WHOA! For this, I am heavily relying on good ole pen and paper…I strangely have A LOT of notepads. I am keeping little notes at where I am at in the application process and mentally makes more sense to me.
  4. Again…I love technology! When working with my officers, my partner in crime, Cora Johnson, Kappa Phi,  set up this amazing document on Google Drive that is a document of running notes that I refer to in order to stay organized.

I am trying to enjoy every single minute of planning my dream wedding, my last few months as a leadership consultant and making the most out of finding my next step in my life.

xoxo,

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CCP

It’s not just for 4 years…

Cora Johnson - Kappa Phi Chapter, Florida Atlantic University
Cora Johnson – Kappa Phi Chapter, Florida Atlantic University

“…to find your future bridesmaids.”

This quote inevitably has crossed the mind of every sorority woman.

In college, I thought about the day that I could be a bridesmaid in, not only my best friend’s wedding, but one of my sister’s weddings. This was absolutely one of the reasons why I joined Sigma Kappa. And let me tell you how excited I am to say, that the day is finally here!

Here are the steps and tips that I am taking to being a bridesmaid of one of my sorority sisters.

  1. Opening the gift that asks one of the most important questions “will you be my bridesmaid?”
    • Answer: “Yes, are you serious? I’m going to cry (as tears are pouring out), YES, YES!” Clearly answered in a very calm and classy way.
  2. Celebrating her engagement is a must, so you can make the bride-to-be feel important, but ultimately so you can celebrate your lifelong dream of finally becoming a bridesmaid.
  3. Next, getting all important dates finalized because nothing is more important than marking them down in your Erin Condren planner.
  4. One of the most important things you must attend as a bridesmaid, besides the wedding, are the prior parties… Like an engagement party. For those of you who are like me, and have never done this before, here are some links for engagement gifts!
  5. Dresses. Quite possibly one of the only things that really matters on the wedding day, besides showing up. Figuring out what the bride wants and then figuring out what looks best on the whole bridal party. Let me tell you, figuring this out is the definition of 0 to 100 real quick.

At the end of the day, all the details will get worked out, the length of the dresses will be decided and the location of the bachelorette party will be finalized. If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that you cannot predict the future. But, by joining a sorority you can almost guarantee you’ll find your future bridesmaids.

xoxo,

CJ

 

 

Lessons Learned

Nicole Curtis - Theta Pi Chapter, SUNY-Geneseo
Nicole Curtis – Theta Pi Chapter, SUNY-Geneseo

Everyone knows that you don’t study abroad for the classes: you study abroad for the sights, the people, and the experience. Although this is a well-known fact among those struck by wanderlust, I am the type of person to never miss a class. The guilt or fear of missing valuable information kept me going to class every time. But whether you are like me or decide to have less than stellar attendance in all of your classes abroad, you will still learn invaluable information about yourself and the world around. The learning that happens outside of the classroom, I might argue, is even more important than the facts you memorize for Intro to Sociology of New Zealand (but hey, I still learned a lot there too!).

These are just a few of the important lessons I learned while studying abroad:

  1. Take advantage of every opportunity to see or try something new. This is something that seems so obvious. Whenever I have been in another country, I’ve planned every weekend around some kind of excursion or have taken the afternoon to go somewhere the locals might overlook. I took every opportunity to see as many things as possible and spend as much time with the people around me, because I knew that our time was limited. I realized how exhilarating it felt to live life abroad knowing that it would all be over soon, and wondered why I wasn’t doing this while I was in America too. It is easy to overlook the wonders that lie just around the corner from where you live because they are always there; you take advantage of them or think “I will go there eventually.” When I left New Zealand, I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t wait for an opportunity to present itself, I would make the most of my time no matter where I was or how much time I thought I had (because you can never really know).
  2. Not everything needs to be planned. This one took a little time because I am definitely a planner. I may not be 100% type A, but I like planning, and knowing what I am going to do ahead of time saves precious time when traveling. But being in New Zealand, I was surrounded by locals who didn’t take life too seriously (some of my friends and professors didn’t wear shoes!) and I spent a majority of my time with fellow international students. My friends from different parts of Europe and the Netherlands definitely had different styles/ways of doing things; they were much more “go with the flow” and spontaneous. Travelling with different types of people from around the world allowed me to explore through their eyes. Without these friends, I may have missed or passed by some of the most incredible moments I had while abroad: learning to surf at sunrise, having a snow ball fight on top of a mountain, and witnessing the most breathtaking sunset thousands of feet up in the mountains. These moments were not on my itinerary, but I am so thankful that they happened.
  3. Travel is the only thing we buy that makes us richer. I learned while abroad that it costs A LOT of money to have basic necessities like food on top of paying to travel. Even though taking out another loan or asking my parents to borrow more money was hard (knowing that I would be more in debt), but I have never regretted it. The experiences I was fortunate to have are more worthwhile to me than any object I could have purchased with that money. When you travel, you are making an investment into enriching your life, and you can’t put a price tag on that.

If you have never studied abroad and you have time, make it happen! If you are out of college, it’s not too late to start saving to travel! But if you do not have the time or money, I hope you can take some of these lessons I have learned and start to incorporate them into your life and explore the lessons right where you live!

A Practice in Patience and Productivity

Britney Smith - Kappa Mu Chapter, Duquesne University
Britney Smith – Kappa Mu Chapter, Duquesne University

I figured it out.patience

I figured out how I can deal with my natural tendency to be impatient.

I hate procrastination & I’m a natural planner. I prefer to complete tasks as soon as I can…but I have come to realize that this is actually wasting my time.  I should do some of these tasks while I wait instead of rushing to do them. I wait every day between officer meetings, at the airport, for dinner to cook, & the list goes on. Sometimes, hours of waiting pile up in a single day.

Personally, I found my days make much more sense when I save work to do while I’m sitting waiting for someone or something. I actually schedule my wait time with items from my to-do list! So here I am, writing this post while waiting to board a flight. It gives me something to do while I wait AND I’m doing something I’d need to do anyway. The best part is that I’m not wasting a second of my time. It helps me feel more patient than I actually am because I’m being productive!

Recently I’ve been combining my love of planning ahead with my natural impatience in order to raise my levels of productivity. It has been working for me & is the perfect example of using a strength (planning) to compensate for a weakness (impatience). I encourage you to do this as often as you can. Use your strengths to benefit you & make your weakness, less weak.

Stay patient & productive my friends!

xo,

BS

The Hidden Gems of Charleston

Alyssa Ramsey - Delta Chi Chapter, University of Central Oklahoma
Alyssa Ramsey – Delta Chi Chapter, University of Central Oklahoma

Hello again!

As I have mentioned many times before, I am a photographer. As I live in new cities and travel to new places I have found my favorite part of being in new places is finding the hidden gems each city has to offer. I love taking the road less traveled and finding things many others may not even notice or stop to appreciate. In this blog I am going to share some of my favorite hidden gems I have found in Charleston so far.

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The Angel Oak tree is one of my favorite Charleston treasures I have seen so far. It is over 1,500 years old and even more breathtaking in person

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After driving to the very edge of the beach and walking about half a mile, I was blessed with a view just as pretty as promised

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After wandering around downtown losing myself in the beauty and having no idea where I was, I stumbled upon my favorite alley. It may just be because it reminds me of Harry Potter, but it’s beautiful none the less.

These are only a few of the beautiful things I have ran across during my time in Charleston, but I find myself enjoying them a little more than normal because I had to travel off of the beaten path to find them. So next time you are traveling, take a moment to stop and explore. You never know what hidden gems you might find.

-XOXO- Alyssa