And that's only the beginning—only the most quantifiable things I could think of at this moment. I took this job because I knew it would offer me opportunities I wouldn't be able to find in any other line of work, at any other time in my life. I took this job even though I had been fortunate to find an internship at a great magazine: an open door into the career I had been preparing for since becoming my high school's newspaper editor in 2005. I took this job even though many people (friends and family included) didn't understand why I wanted to work for a sorority. But that story is for another day—maybe next summer when I'm searching for journalism jobs and wondering why I did leave the industry for a year.
For now, however, I wanted to share with you some of things I've learned on the road this semester as an Alpha Delta Pi Leadership Consultant:
I've learned horses are not the only mammals that can sleep standing up.
(Yup, that happened.)I've learned not to store superglue in my jewelry bag.
I've learned to say yes.*
I've learned you can order your fries well done at In-N-Out. Who knew they could get even yummier?
I've learned it is still annoying when airplane passengers store their coats, purses, computer bags, etc., in the overhead bins, even if I see it happen four times a week.
I've learned how to truly appreciate clothes hangers.
I've learned how to consistently pack a 49.5-pound suitcase.
I've learned I can run more than two miles at once ... if I get lost along the way.
I've learned I probably would have been very happy at a UC, even though I refused to apply to any schools in California. (But I still love my Mizzou.)
I've learned a sorority really can change lives.
I'm interested to know: What are some of the things you have learned from your career/lifestyle?
*I felt this one needed a bit more explanation. At the beginning of my semester, I declined a lot of offers from chapter members because I felt bad (e.g. "No, I don't want anything from Starbucks;" "No, I can carry all my bags, thank you;" "No, I can wait until we get back to school to eat"). After a few months, I finally realized it's okay to admit when I need something, as long as I do it politely and graciously ( e.g. "Yes, a tall skinny peppermint mocha would be absolutely wonderful, thank you;" "Yes, actually, that would be really helpful if you could take one suitcase;" "Yes, I would like to stop for lunch soon;" "Yes, there are a few things I need from Target if you're going sometime this week"). This was one thing I knew I would need to work on this year, and I have gotten a lot better at it. After living alone for five months in Santa Fe, I don't really like to depend on anyone, but that's kind of hard to do when my entire material world weighs less than 100 pounds and I don't have access to transportation.