Leadership Development · Leadership Education · Leadership Training

Speaker: Jamie Brown

During the Connections Conference, we had a chance to listen to different speakers discussing different topics. The speaker that stuck out most to me was Jamie Brown. Her presentation was really quite interesting. She related leadership back to her garden her and her daughter started over the summer. I related to this so much because it was so different. I have seen so many leadership speakers so the way she related it in a diffimg_1706erent was very interesting. Her slides were very intriguing, she had different images of her plants and they each related to a different leadership aspect.

My favorite vegetable she related leadership to was this plant that had overtaken her garden with its leaves and vines. She and her daughter were unsure if they should pull the plant since it was taking nutrients from the other plants but they let it grow. The strange plant then ended up producing one single green pumpkin. The green pumpkin then became their prized possession. The main point of her session was to find a balance between taking care of people and getting the task done. It gave us advice on how to provide support for our followers and how to use the leadership style we have obtained in the past to lead a group of people.img_1707

 Jamie Brown did a wonderful job interacting with the audience and keeping things interesting. I would definitely love to sit in on another one of her sessions.

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Personal Life

An Open Letter to the Girl Who goes Home Every Weekend

You’re the biggest hypocrite.

You spent your entire high school career working for scholarships and good grades to get into your dream school.

You spent your time not dating boys because you knew you’d find the one in college

You bragged to your friends about how you could not wait to leave home and find yourself.

College isn’t what you expected, though.

The first month was fun. You met new people. Went to class. And it was just as you imagined it.

Until you got sick. Not a physical cold, or 24-hour flu but a painful mental illness. You cry and cry and cry. You feel so alone even though you have 50+ “family” members at school rooting for you to succeed. Even though you have your loving and supportive family at home.  Even though you have three beautiful roommates who push you to have fun. Even though your professors and faculty are doing everything they can for you to succeed.

You want to go out with your friends but you can’t. You want to stay the whole weekend but you can’t. You hold back the tears, you put on the smile and you pretend to be having the time of your life. But you’re not.

Going home is nothing to be ashamed of. Your mental health is more important than the parties or the football games or the social gatherings. You take care of your brain before you take care of your expectations of college.

Crying is okay. Going home is okay. Taking care of yourself is okay. Working to be the best person you can be is okay.

People may judge you, they don’t mean to upset you. Ignore the snarky comments about how you’re going home AGAIN. They don’t understand and you shouldn’t expect them to, you didn’t understand it just a few short months ago. They don’t know the pain you go through. They don’t understand the panic attacks you experience walking into a crowded room. Or the exhaustion you experience from just attending class. Depression and anxiety are not easy.

You had it easy in high school. You didn’t fully understand the effect these horrible mental diseases have on people. You couldn’t fully understand people who didn’t want to hang out, or couldn’t physically get out of bed. But now you do.

You now have a new perspective on how mental illnesses can create an everyday struggle. Mental illness is not understood or even talked about in today’s age. It has made your transition into life at college a horrible experience, and you wish there were more options for people like you to seek help. For you, the best option at this point is to go home every weekend.

To the girl who goes home every weekend. You’re loved. God loves you, your family at school and home love you and the staff at your university love you.

Everyone handles this transition in a different way. College is about finding yourself; whether that be how you have fun or how you take care of yourself.

Even if you aren’t suffering from a mental illness it is still OKAY to go home.

Home should be your safe place. Home should be somewhere you want to go. But you also need to learn that the real world is calling and you can’t be at home forever.

But for now, do what you need to do to survive your first year at college.

I’ll be working on it, and I hope you do too.

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” 1 Peter 5:6-7