Courage and Printer Ink by Carla

As I was running down three flights of steps yesterday, bearing a laundry basket holding a trash can, my dorm neighbor and greatest source of comic relief stopped me.  Ray, who is quite the character, asked why I was running away from him.  I have spent this short week running: running to catch a shuttle, running at the Rec, running for hall council. This lifestyle is fun, but it’s hard to keep track of without covering my desk in post-its.   

 A few days ago, I was elected to my hall council.  This comes with a funny story. Back in the first week of the year, my roommate told me she was going to Harshman Chapman Dunbar’s first hall council meeting.  I had just got back from an information meeting for another group and had been waiting all evening to hit the cool, quiet computer lab.  “I think I’m going to check out hall council,” she told me.  We’d talked about the council in passing that morning.  I thought about it for a second and changed my plans. 

By nature, I am pretty reserved.  I manage to share a bathroom with half of my floor, however, so public speaking seems less unbearable now. I did some research on the position of hall representative for the Undergraduate Student Government, and I was sold.  As representative, I would be an on-campus senator, serving my dorm and the student body.  I went over my idea with a resident adviser and broke out the campaigning tactics.  There’d be no opposition research, of course—just shamelessly self-promoting flyers.   

I did not anticipate running out of black and color ink and then seriously damaging the printer in a group effort to change the cartridges.  I didn’t anticipate the sick, nervous feeling that hit me on the night of elections, either.  I got up in front of a group of people who I mostly knew by name—the turn-out was smaller this time—and gave a very brief speech about myself.  My audience had endured enough long-winded speeches.  I left that evening as the new representative for the Undergraduate Student Government.  

Despite that sick feeling that marks all of my public speeches, I really value leadership.  Hopefully, throughout my undergraduate career, I can establish a few more good roles.  I know I’ll never regret hard work or a little academic and personal courage in college.  And consider this: I never threw up, as I seriously suspected I would, or tripped, or forgot what I was running for.  I call that an accomplishment.

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