On the morning of September 12th, both the Freshman and Sophomore LAS classes filled the Barnes Hall lobby as we awaited our retreat to Eagle Village. The purpose of this retreat is to make connections with our fellow classmates and mentors while exploring leadership. Each Freshman is assigned a Sophomore mentor to help them through their first year of college while making a valuable friendship.
Some memories I will never forget from the retreat are, the bonfire and high ropes course. After the first day, all of us gathered around the bonfire and shared advice, feelings, and impacts that we had made upon one another. It made me feel so at peace and home. Throughout that first day, I made so many connections with people and gotten so close in such a short period of time. I truly feel like being a Leader Advancement Scholar has given me so many opportunities I wouldn’t have gotten elsewhere. I feel so blessed to have others with similar goals and outlooks surrounding me.
My mentor Meredith told me she was afraid of heights when starting the high ropes course. I knew it would be a challenge, but it was a bigger one than I expected. I did my best leading her through the partner obstacles, but her emotions got the best of her. Bunches of people from every direction seemed to be telling Meredith what to do and help her through her struggle. I myself was trying to stay steady while assisting her at the same time. After all Meredith got stuck and had to have a staff member come and save her. I had a conflict in myself whether of not to keep going through the obstacles and use the time, or to stay with Mere and encourage her through. I did the latter and was glad I made the decision I did. When we finally got off the ropes course I gave my mentor a big hug and started crying with her. I was so proud that she faced her fear and ended with a huge accomplishment. Though it was hard, our relationship definitely got stronger through this course.
After the weekend I learned, I have lots of people I can count on to encourage me to succeed. I truly feel like part of a family through LAS and CMU. My eyes have been opened, I have new perspective on things and appreciate what I’ve been blessed with. I can’t wait to see where this journey will lead me in the future. I really want to strive to make a difference in this world and be a leader of today.