Coming into college, I didn’t know what VSA was. I’ll admit – I wasn’t interested at all but I still gave it a chance. After a year of going to events and meeting some of the most wonderful people, I decided to run for VSOUL’s E-Board. The following year I became Internal Vice President, and then President. Throughout my term I made it my main goal to focus on culture and making VSOUL a home for its members. That year VSOUL won Most Outstanding Philanthropic Event, Most Outstanding Cultural Program, and Most Outstanding Web Presence at the First Annual UVSA Gulf Coast Awards. Although it was a successful term, I wanted to do more.
As my term was coming to an end, I decided to apply for UVSA Gulf Coast Secretary. I was very hesitant when I applied because I only had one year of leadership experience in VSA and I didn’t know what to expect. Being elected was a blessing, but I was still anxious and nervous because who isn’t when wading into the unknown? As motivation to overcome my fears, hesitations, and moments of doubt, I accepted the position of Secretary. I’ve learned to be selfless, understanding, confident, and strong throughout my term and bonded with people I can call my family. I pushed myself to volunteer at Date Auction, perform in front of large crowds, presented workshops, attended my first UNAVSA Conference as a Hospitality Staff Member, and the list goes on. Being UVSA Gulf Coast Secretary has been one of the scariest, challenging, yet rewarding and best decisions of my life.
People often ask me: “Wouldn’t you rather do something better with your time?” or “Aren’t you glad your term is almost over?” My answer is no. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else when I’m not at school or working. There is no greater feeling than knowing you are providing an individual the resources they need and enabling them to make a difference in their community, whether it is big or small. There are times when stress consumes me and I want a break from it all, but the moment it’s time to face the music, I’m worried I won’t be able to close this chapter of my life. How do you walk away from a position that has given you so much joy, purpose, and love?
To those hesitant to apply: Apply. Don’t let the deadline pass and have thoughts of “What If…?” There’s at least 1 reason why you were considering applying. If you’re hesitant to apply because you’re worried you may lose to another candidate, or even your friend, you’re running for the wrong reason. It shouldn’t matter if there are other candidates running. You should be running because you’re passionate and believe you’re the best person for the position. Don’t miss out on an amazing opportunity just because of a fear of failure.
To those who have applied: I wish you the best of luck during elections. I hope that you remember to stay true to your values, beliefs, and, most importantly, to yourself. If you don’t get elected, I hope that doesn’t discourage you from being involved within VSA. I hope it doesn’t make you less passionate. This is a supportive, loving community and we’re always here for you. There are always opportunities to be involved one way or another.
To Kent, TT, Mitchell, and Tony from the bottom of my heart, thank you. Without you guys I would not have made it through. Passion, drive, determination, and desire to make a change are what drew me to apply to be on Eboard, but having such talented, compassionate, and hardworking individuals by my side is what kept me going. You guys have been my rock in times that I had my doubts, when my worries consumed me, and when my challenges made me feel like I wasn’t capable. Thank you guys for your unwavering support and unconditional love.