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What I’m Taking with Me

web_Alexa_GatesBy: Alexa Gates
Gamma Mu, Ball State University
Resident – Western Oregon University

This is a bittersweet but exciting time of year for many Alpha Chi Omega sisters. Graduations, Halls of Commitment, new beginnings and some endings tend to take place as the weather turns warmer and we approach the summer months. Two years and two coasts after I accepted this position, my time as an Alpha Chi Omega chapter consultant has come to an end.

It is absolutely startling how fast the time has gone, and I am learning that life doesn’t slow down from here on out. The goal I had since I was 19, to be a consultant, has reached its crescendo at 24. As I reflect back on how much I have accomplished, how my life has been enriched and how much I have developed, I cannot help but credit Alpha Chi Omega. So here, in my last Consultant Chronicle, as the last consultant standing, I give you an abbreviated list of that which I credit Alpha Chi Omega:

1. The ability to enjoy my own company. From long weeks on the road to my year as the only consultant on my project in a small Oregon town, I have learned the skill and value in hanging out with myself. I have mastered the solo movie, solo dinner and solo hike. It also has shown me how valuable the time we have with others is. It has pushed me to be more present in the company of sisters, family and friends and to give them my full attention and appreciation, because I can always hang out with myself. I’m great company and I never have to compromise on what I want to eat for dinner.

2. The celebration of small wins (with myself and with others!). I used to have a hard time appreciating what I had accomplished. Alpha Chi has helped me see that some days your win is completing a huge project or resolving a conflict, and some days it’s folding your laundry. Whatever it is, it is healthy to give yourself a pat on the back for the big and small, to share with sisters why you are proud of YOU that day or to take yourself on a date to Nordstrom.

3. Changing a flat tire. Alpha Chi Omega has empowered me to deal with really hard, even daunting, situations calmly; to take a breath and smile at the good story you will have to tell later. It has also pushed me to ask for help, not because I am not smart or good enough, but rather because I am smart enough to know when I need help. Like when I flagged down a kind stranger who coached me through changing my flat tire on my way home from the airport one rainy afternoon (If you are reading this, Ken, shout-out to you).

4. Hustle. Not only working hard, but also finding the joy in the grind. Nothing makes me happier than a very productive day, and Alpha Chi Omega has shown me how much joy there is to be had in a job well done.

5. A sense of community. We all want to feel involved in something, that we matter to a group, that we are invested in something bigger than just ourselves. Alpha Chi Omega has not only helped me feel connected, but has also shown me how I can continue that connection and foster it in others. However I choose to stay connected with the Alpha Chi Omega community, whether it be through volunteering, advising, donating to the Foundation or attending our upcoming convention, I know I am making a difference in our sisterhood, and in the lives of our members.

I cannot wait to take what I have learned into my new career and new community. Having these skills as a result of my role with this amazing organization has empowered me to never stop pushing to be better, never stop learning and never stop seeking the heights. I couldn’t have asked for a better first job out of college, and I couldn’t have asked for a more amazing sisterhood.

One Comment

  1. Colette Livermore |

    Dear Alexa,
    Thank you for all you do for Alpha Chi Omega. You have been an inspiration and a joy to be with, here in Oregon. We will miss you and can’t wait for your return…some day!

    I am surprised I didn’t get that call when you were stranded on the side of the road with a flat tire…assuming you were in Oregon on a rainy afternoon 🙂

    It has been an amazing experience working with you and I can’t wait to see what you do next!

    Best wishes in life Alexa!!
    Loyally,
    Colette