The theme for Saturday was confidence. Throughout the day we covered topics varying to why we aren’t confident to how we can become more confident. Another very important topic that we covered that day was how to invest in our sisters and others in order to improve the environment that we are in. With these topics, we mostly worked with our small group to puzzle through the ideas and to talk about our experiences.
We first started by talking about how the media portrays women and the ways that it has not only affected our generation but also the generation of young girls after us. We delved into talking about how we are negatively affected personally by T.V. shows like “Keeping up with the Kardashians” and “The Bachelorette.” To take discussing our personal experiences to the next level, we participated in an activity where we “joined in” when discussing experiences that we had when we were young and still have today. I enjoyed this activity a lot because it is conducted in complete silence and you get to visually see what a large, or small, percentage of women have had the same experiences. The last activity that we did in this general session involved talking about our fears. We wrote on a piece a paper what we would do if we didn’t have fear and then encouraged each other to pursue these dreams. This is an activity that I want to take back to my chapter for two reasons – I think it is important to see that everyone is fearful when approaching their dreams and also, to see all the dreams our sisters have.
Our small group meeting following this session was about our own confidence. We all discussed what we think of our confidence levels and how to increase it in meetings and when talking to people. I think for my group specifically, this activity brought us together a lot more because we were able to share the things we worried about and also give advice on how each of us thought it could be improved. This lesson led into our next general session discussion, how we can use our new and improved confidence to invest in others and help them see their potential. We considered the best ways to “Lean In” and take an active role in helping our sisters be the best versions of them.
To end the day, we had the opportunity to listen and ask questions with some members of our national council, I believe the rest of my sisters can agree when I say that they had a lot of very relevant advice for everyone to take home. My favorite piece of advice was, “You don’t have to give 100% to everything 100% of the time.”
Sadly, that was our last full day ,and Sunday consisted of a final meeting with our small group where we discussed our plans for the future. We each wrote a letter to our future selves and each wrote a “yearbook message” to each girl of the group. It was a very bittersweet moment, we were all so happy to have grown so close but knew that soon we would be leaving and heading back to our own states. We made the moment last with a lot of pictures in front of the beautiful lake.
The last thing we all did together was graduation. I think that by far the best part of the ceremony was when we all stated a way that we were going to invest in ourselves for the future. I am going to miss those girls like crazy, but I know I always have a place to stay whenever I want to visit!
I just want to take this last part to put in writing how unbelievably grateful each one of us was to be able to attend this institute. It wouldn’t be possible without the Phi Mu Foundation and we are so blessed to have them, but also thank you to the Fraternity for bringing me together with so many amazing sisters and also the opportunity to blog about it throughout the four days. I know with these girls it wasn’t just friendships for four days, it is for life.
Yours In Our Bond,