For all of my life, I have been told to be a leader and not a follower. I have been taught to set an example that you would want other people to follow and to leave an impactful mark on others in a positive way. As we go through life, this can come naturally or it can be difficult. While I have spent most of my life, until recently, in the comforting environment of my hometown, showing leadership was fairly simple. However, in my short amount of time that I have spent here at the University of Pikeville, I have noticed that it is difficult to be a leader in this new and uncertain setting.
When I mention the word leadership, what comes to mind? Someone who runs for student government? Someone who is the president of a club? When you hear the word “leader”, I want you to think of an individual that is a role model. There are many ways to show leadership but how exactly do you do that while being a college freshman. That is what I am here to explain!
First of all, in order to become a leader, you need to be effective in what you do. According to The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey there are daily habits that are instilled in people who have successful lives. The two that stand out to me the most are being proactive instead of reactive and to work on understanding first, then work on being understood. When you are faced with a difficult situation, conquer it with strength and not with negative actions. Focus on what you can control and take care of instead of only seeing the downside. In the role of being a leader, you will face adversity. How you handle the situation will show your true characteristics and you want to make sure you have a positive reaction. Next, you need to work on understanding other people and their ideas. As a leader, you will hear many opinions and you have to truly listen to what the other individual is meaning. After you comprehend what they are saying, you will be able to really understand what they are meaning and be helpful.
How To Become a Leader…
- o Prioritize setting a goal and achieving it.
- – By creating a goal and sticking to it, you are showing determination. This is a characteristic that many leaders have. When you show dedication towards something you are passionate about, you will inspire others to set their own goals and achieve them.
- – Achieving your goal shows that you are successful. People want to surround themselves with successful individuals.
- o Use networking to your advantage.
- – You are in connection with so many different people on campus. Use them to your advantage because they are there for you.
- – Since our campus is relatively small, everyone knows everyone. Ask your student success advisor or even your professors about opportunities that are out there! Tell them you are interested in finding a job on campus or volunteering and they will be more than happy to help you.
- o Make plenty of friends.
- – Creating friendships results in always having someone there for you. Although you are trying your hardest to be a leader and uplift others, you still need someone to cheer you on!
- – Become friends with people of all differences! You never know what one person could offer you. Friends will be more than willing to help you succeed.
- o Always have a positive attitude.
- – No one wants to be around a negative person, therefore always keep a smile on your face and let your true character
- – Be uplifting to others and let them know you are there for them. Showing one kind action to someone else can change that whole persons view on the day.
You may think it is hard to be a leader, however I am here to let you know that it isn’t. You just have to think of what others aren’t. Always be open minded to new things because you never know what you may experience. Being a leader can be such a great thing if you let it be!
Benefits of leadership from a student perspective are wonderful. While I have been on campus, I have talked to a senior from campus, Grace Morris. Grace is an active member of campus as she participates on the women’s golf team, OMSP, FCA, Biology Club, and a tutor for the Center for Academic Excellence. Grace said the following, “Becoming a leader on campus opens many doors and opportunities for you. You can leave a great impact on many people when you become a leader on campus as well.” I also talked with another student on campus that is a junior, Coutnee Collins. Courtnee is also a tutor on. Campus as well a member in multiple different clubs. Cournee said leadership is important because it “makes you feel as if you belong on campus. Being involved and a leader makes you feel as if you are doing everything right within yourself and life.”
Benefits of Leadership… (Student Perspective)
- Allows for you to be known on campus.
- Being known on campus allows for many people to think of you. They can think of you when they hear of new opportunities to be a part of on campus as well as when they are needing help.
- When people know of you, they are able to make sure you are a part of their life in some way. This is a great chance to leave an impactful mark on them.
- You are able to make change where needed.
- A leader on campus is able to make valuable decisions. When you know a lot of the student body, you are able to know what they want changed.
- Being a leader allows you to be a representative of what the students want to see a change in. When important people on campus are wanting to change something, they are going to want your input, therefore allowing you to make a significant change to our campus.
- Being a leader opens many doors for you.
- When you are a leader, you are the face of campus. People know of you and will remember you. When you are a well-known person, you become involved in many things.
- Being involved allows you to make a name for yourself that people will remember, and they will in return give you insight into great opportunities.
Overall, there are many individual benefits to being a leader and showing your leadership. According to honorsociety.org, leadership skills can result in personal growth. Being a leader allows for you to find yourself and the changes that you want to see in the world. Not only will if allow for you to grow within yourself, but it will also allow for you to feel confident. It is a great recognition of all your hard work and dedication. Lastly, leadership teaches you how to use everything you have. It teaches you new skills that you never knew you were capable of doing.