The One That Made Me Cry

Morgan Chaney, Epsilon Mu, University of Missouri
Morgan Chaney, Epsilon Mu, University of Missouri

This is my last blog as a consultant this semester. The fact is hitting me for the first time as I write this that the semester is coming to an end, and I have to leave Indiana in a few short weeks — which still doesn’t seem real. This semester has been a whirlwind of coffee, conversations, laughs, smiles, hugs and learning experiences that I can’t wait to put into play as I continue my journey as a leadership consultant next semester. While I do get to continue my journey next semester, I’m sad to end the journey I’m currently on.

For those who know me, I’m a crier. I cry when I’m happy, when I’m sad, and anywhere in-between. As my roommate Brianna McKay, Kappa Eta, could tell you, I cry about everything from proposals to puppy videos, so writing this has been making me feel like this:

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So this is the blog that makes me cry, and the one where I’m really able to say thank you to everyone that’s given me an amazing experience this semester.  So here we go…

To my family: Thank you for everything you’ve done for me this semester. Thank you for dealing with my hectic schedules, thank you for taking my phone calls at midnight, thank you for sending me care packages, and for making this home away from home feel closer to you all. I wouldn’t have had the courage to apply for this job without your constant encouragement, and I wouldn’t have made it through this semester without your constant support. You’ve been here for me through the tears, through the laughs, and through all the craziness of leadership consultant life.

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To the collegians: Thank you for being you. You are all such smart, beautiful, amazing and accomplished women, and I couldn’t have asked for a better group to begin my leadership consultant journey with. Thank you for the countless hours in the IMU by the Pizza Hut, your adorable emails, all the pictures, the laughs and the reassurance that I’m making the same impact on your lives that I was given by the consultants that worked with my chapter of Initiation. I appreciate everything you all have done this semester, and seeing how much you’ve grown in only 75 days absolutely blows my mind. I can’t wait to see where you are in a year or two. Even though I may be off somewhere else next year, know that I will always be there as your friend and your cheerleader. Thank you for an amazing experience and as always, Go Hoosiers *insert me attempting (and failing) to do the IU arm thing*!

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To Bri: Thank you for being my best friend through this journey. You truly have become the big sister I’ve never had, and I’m so proud to call you my sister. Thank you for putting up with my constant crying, love of gluten, and horrible dance moves; you’ve really made this semester amazing, and I wouldn’t have wanted to spend it with anyone else. I really don’t know what I’m going to do without you next year, but I promise to visit you and your super cool job so we can eat way too much queso and reminisce about the semester we watched 154 episodes of Gilmore Girls and obsessed about corgis. Here’s to being the dynamic duo, love always BLMEC.

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To our supervisors: Thank you for making this all possible! You all are rock stars and I don’t know how we would function without you. You all have helped us through the good, the bad and the glittered, and I’m so thankful to have two amazing women leading us through this experience. You really are inspirations to us all, and I can’t wait to continue my experience next year with you.988537_10204057784021146_4584620739444997532_n

To my team: Thank you so much for an amazing year. You all have made me laugh, made me cry, and have become some of my favorite humans. From our favorite songs, to all of the inside jokes, the trips to get ice cream, and making sure we keep Lindy Luchowski, Gamma Zeta, away from nuts, you all have made this year one for the books. I am so proud that we were able to complete SEVEN colonizations, and were able to reach and make an impact on so many chapters across the country. I’m so proud of all of the long hours you all have put in for this organization, and I feel so honored to have worked on a team with you all. While I am lucky enough to see so many of you as returners next year, to those who are moving on from the LC journey, I can’t wait to see where your lives take you and all the things you all accomplish outside of the violet bubble. Again, thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone on the team; you all have made this journey so special. Love you all.

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I hope everyone has an amazing summer and I’ll see you all next year! Sending you all love through the tears,

MEC

Staying Positively Positive

Morgan Chaney, Epsilon Mu, University of Missouri
Morgan Chaney, Epsilon Mu, University of Missouri

At Indiana University this past week, they had an event called positive post-it day. On this day, members of the Greek community came together and distributed thousands of positive notes to students and staff members, on windshields, lockers and bulletin boards to bring some positivity to campus during a stressful academic time, and it truly worked.

When everyone meets me, they always say “you’re so positive”, “you’re always smiling”, “you always seem so happy!” While I believe that this does describe me to an extent, I get in my head a lot when I believe I can do better and while I seem positive outwardly, sometimes in my head it’s a lot more negative which is something I’m always trying to work on.

During the positive post-it day, I had a massive headache and was running a million miles a minute making sure everything was in order for the IU colony’s Initiation weekend. I was not feeling very positive and instead was tired, a little annoyed and was not in a good mood. It was definitely one of those days. When the woman passing out the notes approached me, she was so positive and happy and the note she handed me was so perfect. As I sat there, staring at the card, a thought went through my head:

How could a note that comprised of six words, “You are strong, don’t forget it” make such an impact on my day.

With this thought, it really made me think.  It made me question my attitude and ultimately, has made me make a change in my own life  I’ve decided that I’m going to be positive every day. I know there will be days where this will be more difficult and days when being positive will be the last thing I want to do, but I know it’s a change I want to make in my life.

I am in charge of how I feel, and starting now, I’m choosing positivity and happiness. I’m choosing to challenge myself when I become negative. I’m choosing to change my outlook on life because in the end, life is too short to be unhappy. I’m choosing to be the best version of myself.

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How to Survive the Airport

Morgan Chaney, Epsilon Mu, University of Missouri
Morgan Chaney, Epsilon Mu, University of Missouri

One of my favorite parts of being a leadership consultant is the opportunity to travel. Recently, I’ve had some chaotic times at the airport which made me start thinking about some things I can do to make my airport experience a little more calm. Here are a few ways on how to survive the airport!

Give yourself enough time: When flying, time is of the essence. You don’t want to get to the airport too early and have to wait around, and you don’t want to get there too late and miss your flight. Allotting for a long security and baggage check line is always important and should help you make the most of your time. If you don’t give yourself enough time, you will end up running through the airport like a crazy person!

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Make sure you are adequately caffeinated: When I travel, I really dislike feeling tired. As much as I enjoy sleeping on planes, feeling sleepy prior to my flight makes me worry that I will fall asleep and miss it. Before I fly, I make sure to have some sort of coffee or tea so I am awake, happy and ready to take on the day.

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It’s only one cup right?

Only check a bag if you REALLY need to: Checking a bag can be a nightmare. Between the long lines and potential of your bag weighing too much and having to deal with that, checking a bag most of the time is pretty unnecessary. Unless you are going on a long trip or require lots of outfit changes, all of your items should fit in your carry-on and personal bag. Make sure to plan your outfits to avoid bringing your full closet. For more packing tips, there are a few previous blogs that talk about this subject!

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Try to pack light so you can skip the lines!

Make sure you can identify your bag easily: Unless your luggage is in some crazy pattern, there is a very serious chance someone is going to have luggage that is similar to yours. When looking for your bags, having something to identify them quickly is definitely a must. This could be anything from a bow to a button to a unique bag tag. Properly and easily identifying your bag makes claiming it quicker, and helps avoid awkwardly taking someone else’s bag home.

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Pick out a cool tag like this cat tag above!

And last but not least, be nice and SMILE: It’s amazing how much a smile can make a difference. When going through any sort of line, smile at the TSA or security agent. Many of these people have been yelled at for most of the day so being kind and wishing them a good day could earn you some brownie points to get through the line faster.

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Everything is always better when you smile.

I hope you use these helpful tips to make your next trip at the airport a little bit more smooth!  Happy Travels!

How to Eat Healthy On a Budget

Morgan Chaney, Epsilon Mu, University of Missouri
Morgan Chaney, Epsilon Mu, University of Missouri

Being in college, or post college, and figuring out your finances is always a big job. Learning how to budget is a great life lesson and budgeting for food can actually be fun. Now that I no longer have a meal plan on campus and have to think about how I’m spending my food budget, I’ve learned a lot about how to eat healthy without spending a lot!

First off, set your food budget! Look at your finances and decide how much you can reasonably spend on food each month.  Remember that this includes everything from your groceries, to Starbucks runs and any time you eat out. I’ve found that setting a lower budget and challenging myself to meet that, but knowing I have some wiggle room really works and helps me decide if the chips at Chipotle I know I won’t finish are really worth it!

Second, organize your refrigerator and your pantry. This will let you figure out what you already have. There’s no need to have 10 boxes of pasta or waste money on things that will go bad if you do not use them. While it’s nice to have a full pantry or fridge, if there are things you will never eat and will have to throw away, you shouldn’t waste your money on them!

Third, search for sales and plan your healthy meals around them. With this, don’t be afraid to look at more than one store. The different sales and prices may surprise you and will pay off with more savings. Lots of stores have sales on in season vegetables or leaner meats which is a great time to stock up on them. Don’t be afraid to get some freezer bags and buy in bulk too! You may have to drive a few extra miles to get to a second store, but I promise your savings will more than cover your cost of gas!

Fourth, after you search for sales, make a grocery list and stick to it. With this, try not to go to the store when you’re hungry. You’ll be tempted with Oreos and other items you really do not need. If you also stick to your list, you’ll make sure those junk food snacks don’t sneak into your cart for a midnight snack and will spend less! Doing this also cuts down on empty calories, which should be avoided when you are trying to eat healthy!

Fifth, when you get to the store, see if if has a loyalty or membership program. Most of the time these are free and give you lots of free things! I found out my local Kroger has rewards cards that are loaded with members only coupons. This always seems to take a few dollars off my total price at the end, and with this, I also am able to rack up points that can be redeemed for a $0.10 per gallon coupon for gas bought at their gas station. For me, this more than covers the extra gas I use to go to more than one store!

Last, plan and prep your meals ahead of time. This is a big one. As much as a hassle it may seem, living the tupperware lunch and dinner life is actually pretty fun! You get to spend time cooking your meals for the week and then forget about it! Knowing all you have to do is reach in your fridge and pick out what you want to eat is so easy and lets you have choices. People are also normally jealous that you have something other than cafeteria food or yet another Jimmy John’s sandwich to eat.

Hopefully these hints will help you to start eating healthy on a budget! Have fun shopping and planning out your weeks and make sure to get creative. You have lots of freedom to mix and match foods and still make meals that are so delicious even on a budget!

Until next time and happy cooking!

5 Interesting Things In Indiana

Morgan Chaney, Epsilon Mu, University of Missouri
Morgan Chaney, Epsilon Mu, University of Missouri

For my entire life, I lived in the state of Missouri. The Show-Me-State, which is home to the St. Louis Cardinals, Mizzou Tigers, toasted ravioli, gooey butter cake and my favorite puppy has always been my home and the thought of moving away was never something I thought I would do. At the beginning of January, I moved to Bloomington, Indiana to help establish the Indiana University colony. Bloomington is an amazing city, but there are some things I’m not quite used to yet. These are 5 main things that I’ve found that are completely different:

  1. Roundabouts: Indiana has more roundabouts than I have ever seen in my life. While I am finally starting to get the hang of them, the ones with multiple lanes still make me feel like this corgi.giphy
  2. Little 500: When people explained the Little 500 bike race to me, I was beyond confused. After watching Breaking Away and hearing stories from people who have participated in the race, it makes me excited to see what it’s all about (and start riding a bike again).peewee-herman-bike-for-sale
  3. The lack of Dunkin’ Donuts: As much as I love my daily Starbucks fix, I’m a Dunkin’ girl at heart. Not only do they have my favorite hazelnut coffee, they have awesome doughnuts. Although they do have my favorite coffee closer to Indianapolis, it’s 50 miles away and sadly, that’s a little too far to drive for doughnuts.  angelica
  4. Basketball: Although I have always been an avid sports fan, I grew up in a town focused on baseball and hockey. We never had a great basketball team to follow, so seeing so much team spirit and excitement for a new sport is exciting! I’m hoping to catch a Hoosiers game soon to see what all the buzz is about!hoosiers-yogi-ferrell-ncaa-basketball-rutgers-indiana-850x560
  5. One-way roads: Although there are one-way roads in Missouri, many if not most of the roads in downtown Bloomington are one way only. Although I’m getting better on knowing which ones go which direction, I always feel like I’m going the wrong way!giphy1

Although Indiana may not be my home state, it’s definitely a place I’m excited to call home. Go ho-ho-hoosiers!

Until next time!