I started writing this about four months ago when I accepted the position of being an Educational Leadership Consultant (ELC) for Alpha Xi Delta (AXiD.) I knew I wanted to share my experience with my friends and family but I never knew how to start it out because I didn’t truly understand the role I was taking on until recently.
Today I have officially been on the road for exactly thirty-three days. They don’t tell you about the type of connections you make with other travelers, how quickly you become friends with people when you are removed from a familiar environment. Instead of joining something the way we all did at some point in our college careers, we leaned on each other for support and knowledge. I have experienced heartache of leaving new found friends, happiness for the new life I am beginning and sadness for the old one I am leaving behind; we can’t forget the occasional homesick, but you can’t let that get you down because you have a job to do and nothing can hinder that.
When I was asked what I was expecting out of my first month of traveling as an ELC my answer was something along the lines of “building relationships with Sisters across the country and exploring the many university campuses I’ll be sent to.” But reality hit me just as fast as I stepped off that first flight. I am still building those relationships with over hundreds of Sisters, but that “free time” I have is not used to see some of these campuses, although it has happened. I am using it to catch up on my sleep, preparing myself for my other meetings or aimlessly walking around the local Target (if I have more than twenty minutes.) It involves prepping not only the President or Membership Vice President for Formal Recruitment but a whole chapter- who has potentially not even recruited before. It is taking my time in the airport to listen to anything but cheers and chants. It is being the eyes and ears on the ground for the National Fraternity, and the most affordable mobile resource for these chapters.
You may be reading this and thinking “none of this sounds appealing, why are you putting yourself through this?” My answer: My fraternity needs me and needs me to be strong. I want people to remember their ‘Why.’
Before beginning this year long of adventure, an article was shared with the Traveling Team called Road Warriors for Fraternity. When I read the endless sentences talking about the ups and downs Fraternity & Sorority Consultants experience the emotions I had were indescribable. We truly are a different breed of Greek Members. We believe in the meaning of Fraternity & Sorority. We are leaders and want to create leaders.
The most important lesson that I have had on the road thus far is that it is okay to be upset if your efforts are not being understood, but don’t take it out on anyone. These relationships you are creating are some of the most precious ones you will have throughout your life time; have someone who is your outlet for a quick venting session (whether it be a parent, a fellow traveler or a friend from your own chapter,) put a smile back on your face and return to the conversation.
I vow to always be happy, to be a teacher and not a lecturer, to be a shoulder for a member to cry on, to be a supporter for all the amazing things accomplished. However, I also vow to not lose myself in this year of traveling, but to learn new things about myself and build my strengths. I will get that Sonic milkshake after a long day and hide away if that’s what is needed. But I am doing this for the betterment of Alpha Xi Delta and for the meaning of Fraternity & Sorority, not for myself.
We’re called many things. Field staff. Field rep. Traveling consultant.
No matter what you call me, I know what I am in my heart.
And this is my creed.
I will build a brighter future for fraternity, one chapter at a time.