Leadership Safari

All the animals in the Safari!
All the animals in the Safari!

When I think back to Safari 2014, it was so much more than learning leadership. It was the start of college. It marked the start of a new chapter in my life. That week before everyone else in the university got there we moved in. I met my best friends. Got no sleep because we stayed up until dawn getting to know each other, laughing until we cried, talking till our voices were gone, and making connections I’ll have for the rest of my life. Than woke up at the crack of dawn to start the day of festivities. The main aspect of safari were almost just as memorable. It was a nerve wrecking experience at the start. You get put into a group of strangers and are told “oh you’ll be sharing your deepest thoughts, and become your most vulnerable with these people sitting around you”. All you can think is “uhh no you guys are crazy”, but that exactly what you do. I remember making the conscious decision that this experience will be what I make it. I could sulk and complain about being tired and that I’ve done all these activities before, or I could step up, be a leader and help my group leader make a family out of our group. To make this an experience that not only impacts our lives in a leadership aspect, but was fun for everyone. I realized the more I personally opened up that everyone else in my group would open up as well. Every day we would take part on activities that tested our ability to work as a team. We learned the importance of communication and trust. Beside learning and practicing leadership traits we spoke about ourselves. How we as now college students on our own will impact this university. How we can be successful in college and life. We listened to motivational speakers that inspired me to be a better me. To make goals and follow my dreams. Speakers who taught us how to not be afraid to be ourselves and to meet new people and to step out of our comfort zones. There we also just fun performers like the Asia Project, a performance that brought everyone in the stands to tears. Comedians, illusionists and more. We met hundreds of people and laughed, sang, mooooooooosed, wobbled, cried, and learned to trust and respect. At the end of activities or speakers we would debrief. Talk about how they made us feel. We shared personal stories that connected, or how it made light bulbs go off in our heads. Find that new perspective on an idea/concept. Safari was an experience I will never forget. I couldn’t imagine going into college without it. I felt so much more confident, and acclimated once classes started. I learned so much about myself, and as crazy as it sounds I learned about life. I got blessed with a group that opened up and we were able to get the full experience out of Safari 2014 (Tasmanian devil for life!).

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