One Incredible Journey

Brianna McKay, Kappa Eta, Texas Christian University
Brianna McKay, Kappa Eta, Texas Christian University

It is hard to believe as I am writing this my time as a leadership consultant is coming to an end. Over the past 2 years I have gone to over 20 Sigma Kappa chapters, lived in two different states and met countless sisters. In honor of the 20 wonderful chapters I had the opportunity to work with, I am going to countdown from 20 in an attempt to explain what this experience has meant to me. (Don’t worry I don’t have something for every number but I will make it to 1!)

  • 20: The number of campuses I have visited as a leadership consultant. Each campus has been different but connected by this wonderful organization. I have been to campuses in California, Oregon, Alabama and Massachusetts. At every campus the women I met with taught me something new. They showed me what it means to be a Sigma Kappa all over this country. I am thankful to every campus and every Sigma Kappa I came in contact with. You all welcomed me with open arms and took me in as your sister.
  • 17: The number of women on the LC team. These women are incredible. I would not have made it through this journey without each and every one of you. You all inspire me to be a better human every day, and this year would not have been the same without you.
  • 14: The number of states I have been to. As a reference this does not include the number of states I visited on an airplane, just the states where I visited a chapter. This job had taught me about the beauty of the world we live in. Going to 14 different states I was able to see so many different areas of the USA. We live in a beautiful country and I cannot wait to continue to explore it.
  • 12: The number of women on the 2014-2015 LC team. This journey would not be the same without you all. You helped me navigate what it means to be a leadership consultant. Thank you for being there for me when things were tough and cheering me on through successes. I couldn’t have asked for better women to spend my first year with!
  • 8: The number of training’s completed. As an LC we have two training’s over the summer, one mid-year and one at the end of April. These training’s would not be possible without our two amazing supervisors. The two of you train and lead us to places we never thought we would go. You both have helped to shape my life and I cannot thank you enough for all that you do.
  • 5: The number of years I have been in Sigma Kappa. Wow. It is hard to imagine a time when Sigma Kappa was not a part of my life. This organization has made me a better person, it has given me my best friends and it has changed my life. This organization will never cease to be a part of me, it truly is for a lifetime.
  • 3: The number of different experiences I have had as a LC. Last year, I worked with one of our new chapters, Lambda Alpha, in Mobile, AL. Last semester, I traveled around the country working with our established chapters. This semester, I worked with our colony at Indiana University. All three of these experiences have taught me how vast Sigma Kappa is and how our four values truly bind us together.
  • 2: The number of years I have been a LC. It has been two crazy but absolutely amazing years.
  • 1: incredible journey.

Thank you to every volunteer, chapter officer and chapter member that have been a part of this journey. Every single one of you made this experience worth it, and for that I am eternally grateful.

Last thank you to my teams for being my support, my supervisors for being my motivators and my family/friends for being my strength.

xoxo,

Bri

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Staying “Fit”

Brianna McKay, Kappa Eta, Texas Christian University
Brianna McKay, Kappa Eta, Texas Christian University

Working out is hard. Am I right? It is one of the things that is easy to set aside and put off especially when you are busy. However, this week we have been talking about wellness with the colony here at IU, and it made me realize how important it is to schedule in time to get “fit.”

There are five different aspects to wellness: social, intellectual, spiritual, mental and physical. And to be well you need to be balanced in all five areas. Easier said than done right? I realized this year that the aspect of wellness I typically put off is physical wellness but I have put a STOP to this (or I’m trying to).

Do you also put off getting fit? Then here are some of my tips for motivating yourself to work it out!

  1. Get a Fitbit (or some kind of fitness tracker). I know this involves a financial commitment but getting a Fitbit has been a huge motivator for me. You get to see tangible results of how active you are or how lazy you are on any given day. Depending on what kind you get you can track your steps, your exercise, your sleep, your heart rate, your calories burned and the number of floors you have climbed. The Fitbit also helps me to set goals. I am really bad about setting realistic goals with exercising, and now I don’t have to because my Fitbit does it for me. You know it’s a good day when you get your 10,000 steps, 10 flights of stairs, 5 miles and 30 active minutes. Those of you who have a Fitbit know exactly what I am talking about!
  2. Have a strong support system. Working out is so much easier when you have people to do it with. Being on the road though makes it hard to have people to go get fit with. I am lucky and I have Morgan Chaney, Epsilon Mu, here with me in Bloomington. We have been supporting each other as we both try to get physically well. The other support system that I have is through my Fitbit. You can be friends with other Fitbit owners on their app, and you can ask them to participate in Fitbit challenges. There are several leadership consultants that have been participating in a weekly “Workweek Hustle” to motivate one another!
  3. Set a long-term goal. For the new year instead of setting a new year’s resolution I set a goal for 2016. My goal is to run my first ever half-marathon with my sister-in-law. This goal continues to push me because I know I have to keep training for the half. Setting a realistic goal can help you to continue to work on your fitness. It can be any goal but if it is long term it will help to keep you working out long-term!

I know I am not an expert on fitness or working out but these three things have really motivated me this semester! Tell me what motivates you to keep up your own physical wellness.

Until next time,

Bri

A Blog About the Word “Sorry”

Brianna McKay, Kappa Eta, Texas Christian University
Brianna McKay, Kappa Eta, Texas Christian University

Hey y’all!

I recently came across a wonderful cartoon that really spoke to me, and inspired this blog post. It brought up some real feelings and thoughts that I have had about the word sorry. I don’t know why, how or when sorry became such a large part of our vocabulary. But I feel as if I am constantly apologizing for things when sorry isn’t the right word.

One day I want to do an experiment and count the number of times I say sorry, or the number of times I hear the word sorry. It has become second nature to apologize for things that don’t necessarily warrant an apology. I think it is wonderful to be polite, don’t get me wrong, but if we say sorry too much doesn’t it make the word less meaningful? When we really need to apologize for something will it have the same impact? These are the questions I have been asking myself and analyzing about the word sorry.

Then I came across this beautiful cartoon that skates the perfect line of being polite and not using the word sorry. The cartoon is titled “Stop saying ‘sorry’ if you want to say thank you.”

 

Source: http://brightside.me/article/stop-saying-sorry-if-you-want-to-say-thank-you-a-seriously-insightful-cartoon-57255/

So here is my plea to all of you reading this. STOP saying sorry and START saying thank you. I truly believe it means more and has more of an impact on you and those around you.

Until next time,

Bri

Learning to Pack Like a Pro

Brianna McKay, Kappa Eta, Texas Christian University
Brianna McKay, Kappa Eta, Texas Christian University

Hello everyone! I have come to the realization over the past few weeks that this job has taught me how to pack and how to pack well. Now that I am not traveling as often, I know that last semester traveling full time has given me several tips on how to travel for the rest of my life. The reason I know this is because I recently traveled to visit our chapter at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. I was there for a whole week and I only took a carry on! This was a major accomplishment for me and this is how I know I can pack like a pro now.

So for those of you who do not travel very often I wanted to compile a list of packing tips and tricks. So here are my tips for all of you:

  1. Roll or bag your items
    • Everyone needs to save room in their bag right? Well the best way I have found to do this is by rolling my clothes or putting them in large Ziploc bags. This helps to keep things organized and also to save some room in your bag.
  2. Cut down the shoes
    • The hardest thing for me to cut out of my suitcase is shoes. But it is also the easiest thing to discard from your bag. Just bring the basics. Think nude and black shoes that will match the majority of your outfits.
  3. Always bring some Wet Ones
    • Sometimes I feel so gross while traveling. This is an idea that I took from Cossette Powley, Zeta Omicron, when we traveled to a chapter together. She always travels with Wet Ones and I decided I needed to do this as well. It is helpful to clean-up after you eat, wipe down the tray table or just clean-up after a long day spent on a plane.
  4. Travel with a reusable water bottle (preferably one that clips onto your bag)
    • I always travel with a reusable water bottle so that as soon as I get through security I can fill it up with water. I realized though that water bottles take up a lot of room in your bags. So I found a great water bottle that I can clip onto the outside of my purse. This is perfect because I can stay hydrated and I don’t have to take up any precious space in my bags.

My last tip is don’t forget to bring one comfort item. I know this may sound silly but when you are away from home it is great to feel like you have a piece of home with you. My comfort item I travel with is a small blanket to keep me warm wherever I am!

Tell me what your travel tips are! I love to learn new things to travel with or new ways to pack my bags.

Until next time,

Bri

5 Ways to De-Stress

Brianna McKay, Kappa Eta, Texas Christian University
Brianna McKay, Kappa Eta, Texas Christian University

Hello, everyone!

We all know that life can be stressful. Whether it is work or life there can always be something that gets to you and stresses you out. I recently heard some great advice from a very smart woman. She said “you choose to let the situations in your life stress you out.” I had never thought about stress like this and have tried to use the advice so far this semester.

In titling this post, I am not sure de-stress is the right way to put it. The 5 tips that I have go to this advice of choosing not to get stressed out but instead choosing to get your mind off of the situation. So here are the five ways I have been choosing to re-direct my stressful thoughts. My hope is that you can find one thing on this list to help you re-direct your stress as well!

  1. Read a book: I love to read but sometimes I find it hard to pick up a book when I know how many other things I need to do. However, it is important to do the things you love and get your mind off of the things that are stressing you out.
  2. Go for a walk/exercise: I have not been making time to exercise recently but I have been making time to go for walks. A walk can be one of the best ways to clear your mind and lift up your spirit.
  3. Watch Netflix: I know that this one may sound a bit silly. But I do have a reason for listing this one! Sometimes you just need to do something mindless and forget about everything else that is going on. Netflix is a great way to enter into a different world by watching one of your favorite shows/movies/documentaries.
  4. Cook a meal: I love to cook even though I’m not very good at it. When you cook a meal you focus on just that, cooking the meal and making sure your food is good.  This can also help to take your mind off of the stress and focus on making some delicious food.
  5. Talk to someone that makes you happy: I know that a fault of mine is that when I am starting to stress about something I continue to talk and think about it. That is why I think talking to someone that makes you smile and laugh can be so therapeutic. Talk to them about everything and focus on them to get your mind happy and in the right place!

I hope you can find one thing on this list to keep you from stressing out!

Until next time,

Bri

Catching the IU Spirit

Brianna McKay, Kappa Eta, Texas Christian University
Brianna McKay, Kappa Eta, Texas Christian University

Hello again after a long break! As many of you know I graduated from Texas Christian University (TCU) and have a lot of school spirit. I can often be found saying “Go Frogs!” and throwing up my schools hand sign. Now that I am living in Bloomington, IN, I feel like I’m at a school that has the same amount of school spirit as mine does. However, that school spirit is for a very different sport than football. (Which by the way, the Horned Frogs won the Alamo Bowl! Go Frogs!)

The sport that the Indiana Hoosiers rally around is basketball. I am a big sports fan but I have never really been into basketball. I knew that if I was going to catch some IU school spirit I was going to have to get into basketball. I finally had the opportunity to go to an IU basketball game and now I get the whole basketball thing. I can officially say I have caught some of the Hoosier spirit.

Here is my journey at the basketball game:

  1. IU BBallHere I am before the game started rocking my crimson and white
  2. IMG_3621This is the view from my seats at the game
  3. IMG_3624Here I am finding a really cool Snapchat filter
  4. IMG_3628This is the infamous timeout where the entire crowd sings the school fight song. So cool
  5. IMG_3632This is when the game got interesting and very close
  6. IMG_3633Here is the picture of the Hoosier win!
  7. IMG_3622Don’t fret though, here I am still reppin’ the TCU Frogs at the basketball game

I don’t know if I’m ready to switch over to the saying “Go Hoosiers” from my current saying “Go Frogs” but I definitely enjoy rocking the crimson and white.

Until next time,

Bri

Time for Phase Three

Brianna McKay, Kappa Eta, Texas Christian University
Brianna McKay, Kappa Eta, Texas Christian University

Time is flying by and it is hard to believe that this semester is almost over. This semester has been a whirlwind. I have been to 12 states, gone to 14 campuses and made over 19 chapter visits. Traveling has become my friend this semester and I have realized just how much I love to see the vast country we live in.

For those of you who don’t know there are three jobs you can do as a leadership consultant: you can serve as a new chapter consultant, a traveling consultant and a colony consultant. So far in my LC journey I have been able to check two of these off of my list. Well now it’s time for phase 3. Time to check off being a colony consultant. I am moving to the Hoosier state and taking on Indiana University with Morgan.

Phase 3 is exciting but it also means an end to phase 2. It means I have to break-up with my suitcase. A suitcase that has been there for me all semester. I have tried to decide what to name my suitcase but nothing has stuck. A suitcase that was always a little too close to the 50 pound weight limit. My suitcase has been my home this semester, and I’m sad that we are going to have to part ways.

The end of phase 2 also means the end of my airport time. It might sound crazy to some of you but I have grown to truly enjoy my time in the airport. It has become a norm for me and I will miss the time I get in the many airports I have been to across the country.

Phase 2 meant I got to explore many places, meet new people and cross some states off my bucket list. But phase 3 also means a lot to me. I am overjoyed to have the opportunity to start a chapter of Sigma Kappa. To explore Bloomington, IN and all it has to offer. To bring the sorority experience to new women and see Sigma Kappa change their life, just like it did for me.

Phase 3 I am ready for you and I cannot wait for January.

xoxo,

Bri