Small Ways to Show Love

I remember trying to make Valentines for all the kids in my fourth grade class. There were twenty of us, and I remember loving every minute of hand making each card. I knew my friend Jamie loved dogs, so she got dog stickers. Ashley loved to sing, so she got music notes. Hayden loved cats. The list goes on.

I feel like as I’ve gotten older the love for making gifts for my friends is still there, but the vibe I get from stores, websites, and social media is that buying expensive, showy gifts is better. The more money you spend the more you love the person. That isn’t true at all. I really do hate it that that’s the message I’m getting during a holiday all about human compassion.

Because my twenty Valentines in fourth grade has now evolved into a large group of college friends, I try to do small acts of kindness on Valentines day.

  • Put a bag of chocolates in the offices for my student organizations
  • Buy coffee for the few friends you have class with today
    • You can always send a $5 Starbucks gift card via email to a friend, too!
  • Make small personalized cards for friends and be a “Valentine’s fairy” by slipping them under their doors or into their backpacks
  • Baking cookies
  • Making your roommates dinner and having a girl’s (or guy’s) night in with each other
  • Send friends a Snapchat all about how much you love them
  • Tumblr Valentine’s Day memes are always great (especially when you spam a friend by sending a bunch at once)
  • Some of my classmates have bought Dum Dums to class and passed them around (I haven’t done that because my classes are between 100-300 students each…that’s a lot of lollipops)
  • Send your parents a hand written note on the back of a cute family photo

Those are just a few small ideas of how to share the love this Valentine’s Day. What are your plans?

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Being a Leader in 2018

My Homecoming Committee and I attended the 2018 Collegiate Leadership Conference this past weekend. I learned more than I could have imagined I needed to know, but  I really want to share some notes from our keynote speakers Dr. Jan and VP Wilson.

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This was taken from the UGA Homecoming Instagram. Give us a follow @ugahomecoming !

The first keynote speaker was Dr. Jan. She spoke about what leaders are, and how we perceive them. For me, the big take away item was that a leader is anyone who inspires others and brings people together. Here’s a Youtube video recap of the story she talked about that I thought was most inspiring: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQlxLBqgFKc

Dr. Jan is an incredible speaker, as well as a mom, so she always has great advice. She reached out to me after what I thought was a failure during last year’s Homecoming and taught me how to grow from my slip-up. While she didn’t coin this phrase, she teaches to lead with “lollipop moments”. Here’s an awesome Ted Talk on that: https://www.ted.com/talks/drew_dudley_everyday_leadership – Lollipop Moments

Leading with intentionality was another big take away from CLC. Jake Carnes (UGA alum, Arch Society alum, and former Homecoming King) gave a TedEx talk called How We Can Cultivate Intentional Compliments. Check it out:

VP Wilson was the final keynote speaker of the day. I hear a lot from him because of his close relationship to the Arch Society. I know it’s going to be good when he gets up on stage. He somehow says exactly what I need to hear every single time. In Saturday’s speech he gave us 10 tips for being a better leader:

  1. Find ways to be happy
  2. Ask for help
  3. Start with a yes
  4. Listen more than you speak
  5. Pay attention to the world around you
  6. Work (“grow up and shut up”, if you signed up for a job follow it through)
  7. Integrity should be 24/7
  8. Plan ahead (What type of leader do I want to be in 10 years?)
  9. Work for the common good
  10. Let it be YOU – What can YOU do about solving a problem? (Don’t think that someone else will get to it, often times they won’t, so take charge)

A good question to ask yourself, VP said, is “What problem can I tackle in my immediate world?” Too often do we point out problems and expect that someone else will get around to them. Leaders take charge, no matter how small an issue seems.

A great speech that talks about tip number eight is Matthew McConaughey’s winning speech for Best Actor. Give it a watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wD2cVhC-63I

What tips do you have when it comes to being a leader?