I am writing this blog post from the dining room of our chapter house at Florida State University. Just over a year ago, I wrote a blog post about my first recruitment as an ELC, which ironically was with the Florida State.
I cannot believe that I have been traveling for Alpha Phi for almost a year and a half. The past 16 months have been filled with victories both small and large. For many of my visits it is the anticipation of getting the recruitment returns and setting your alarm for 5:00 a.m. (and then every 30 minutes after that) because you cannot wait for them to be posted. For those recruitment junkies out there, you know there is no better feeling than logging on to ICS and seeing your return rates increase from the previous year. There are the big victories of seeing an amazing new member class on bid day, being with a chapter as they complete their first formal recruitment, or even when members move into their gorgeous new chapter house after years of hard work and anticipation. And then there are the small victories that happen each day; when you are meeting with officers and you see the light bulb go off, and you just know that they are becoming believers. All these instances are good and all impact the chapter.
But, every ELC knows that this job comes with many personal victories too. There is the moment when you realize that you can jump off a plane and walk into a chapter and present in front of 150 people on any given topic. Or when you realize that you have become the best version of yourself and your ability to be independent is your new favorite quality. And, one of my personal favorites: going through airport security is so systematic and routine that the repetition is almost comforting. This job surrounds you with people who have over time become your people: your ELC team, your boss and ELC mentors, collegians and advisors. Being an ELC for Alpha Phi has given more than I could have ever imagined, it is hard to even put it all into words.
But what I can explain is why it is called a victory lap. After your first year has gone by and a new year starts, you begin to really appreciate this job and all it can do for you. In turn you take what you have learned from the previous year and you work even harder to help our chapters succeed. I am so lucky to have been able to travel as a second year ELC, and this year has been nothing short of victorious.
Nikki Comer (Beta Gamma-Colorado) is a second year educational leadership consultant. Learn more about Nikki by clicking here.