October 27, 2014

On the Road: The 50 Pounds


  • One Alpha Phi Issued Laptop — (which has as many windows running as thoughts I have going through my head)
  • One Personal Bag — (containing everything but the kitchen sink)
  • One Carry On suitcase — (which you hope you will never have to lift because you've packed all your heaviest items in it)
  • One 50 lb Checked Bag — (which is considered your “rolling home”)

View from the plane as Brie was returning to the Executive office
While initially packing I had the same problem that any young twenty-something has—how can I pack everything I want to wear in these bags? These bags will see the inside of many planes, rolling around countless parts of the country and spending time in the trunks of dozens of Alpha Phis’ vehicles.

Channeling my inner Carrie Bradshaw, I had to first decide on the shoes. They needed to be comfortable, classic, and able to endure walking around numerous campuses, standing through hours of Polish Week practices and walking around countless recruitment parties. I had pairs that pinched my toes, that rubbed blisters on my heels and that left the bottoms of my feet crying for a rehabilitating pedicure. It then dawned on me that the shoes I bring will be on my feet when the last door chant is done, when we start cleaning up the decorations from the day’s party. It was then that I realized ALL the extra shoes and things I thought I needed weren't going to be necessary. There are three things I continually need to carry to each chapter I go to:

1. A Positive Attitude
Placing a woman in a situation where all circumstances are not ideal will reveal a lot about her character. The most valuable thing to bring on each visit is a positive attitude. When someone picks you up from the airport, a smile is all that is needed to break the ice between two complete strangers who share a common set of values. Regardless of the chapter we come from, we can all find a common ground.

2. A Determination to Achieve Goals
Alpha Phis everywhere should strive for the ability to achieve goals! Goals are what drive our organization to continue to reach new heights. In order to continue to achieve all of our dreams, it takes time and perseverance to take the correct steps. Sometimes the steps are steep and we have to help our sisters up them, and sometimes it’s an easy hike to the top. Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t; you’re right!” which helps me continually think I CAN DO IT!

3. A Love for Alpha Phi
This love is the reason all 15 of the ELCs decided to go out on the road. This bond is shared not only between our own collegiate chapters, but also with the members we meet at each chapter we visit. Passion for our sisterhood can drive all of our chapters to do “Phi”nominal things!

The items that are most important to bring on this journey are not physical. The spirit a person brings to the table is what makes them successful in life. This journey as an ELC has helped me realize that the things we pack in our suitcases are not important for us to do our jobs. It is the spirit that we bring along the way that helps Alpha Phi succeed.

Wheels up!

Brie Strimbu (Beta Gamma-Colorado) is a first year educational leadership consultant. Learn more about Brie by clicking here.

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