17 thoughts on “Orientation Leaders

  1. Confidence is key, right? Everybody has heard that one before. I believe that if you have it, anything is possible. But what is confidence? How do you become confident? To me, confidence is loving yourself and always doing your best. It’s being at peace with yourself, and totally content with who you are. Confidence is when you try on clothing in something that’s “not your color” but tell yourself you can make anything work, or believing in yourself that you can run that extra mile at the gym, or pass that biology test you’ve studied hard for. It’s when your favorite song comes on the radio in the car and you sing along to it as loud as you can, even if your voice isn’t the greatest. It’s feeling comfortable in who you are, your abilities, and being able to take a step outside your comfort zone. It’s how I feel when I just got my nails painted, or a pedicure, or my hair cut. It’s how I feel when my makeup looks amazing or my skin is clear and smooth. It’s also how I feel when I try on jeans that are flattering and comfortable. Confidence, in my mind, is being able to laugh at myself during embarrassing moments, which I have quite often. It’s when I decide that I don’t feel like putting on makeup before I leave the house. It’s when I’m able to admit that I made a mistake, learn from it, and try again.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I believe in perseverance. I believe a negative experience can either drive a person to forget everything and run, or face everything and thrive. Each and every one of face obstacles throughout our lives. Some of us choose to run from them, while others choose to conquer them. We will each have failure, doubt, mistake, and grief in our lives. However, it is not the situation that defines us, it is the way we handle that situation. Often times, people blame the circumstance they come across for their lack of perseverance; but I say, if you don’t like your circumstance, change it.
    The person I was 6 months ago is not the person I am today. My two-year relationship reached a point where it became toxic very quickly. There were many pressures from his family that prevented me from ending the relationship despite the negative weight I was carrying. I began to lose my confidence, quickly, and all aspects of myself that I used to love. There is nothing easy about watching someone you love change so quickly. Not only is it hard to understand, but it’s hard to accept. The change started to occur towards the end of senior year which, as you know, can be extremely stressful. I had a lot on my plate. From academics, extra curriculars and preparing for college, I didn’t have much time to focus on my happiness.
    There were times where the stress of it all seemed unbearable and unstoppable. It wasn’t until I graduated from high school that I decided it was time to put myself first. In my relationship specifically, I spent too much time putting myself and my happiness second. Being my first relationship, I did not realize I was not being treated the way I deserved. I came to the realization that I was in this relationship for his family, not for me. I finally got the support I needed from my friends and family to end the relationship, and since then I have never looked back. Although it was challenging, I am grateful for the lessons I have learned in the process of overcoming this obstacle.
    Today I am strong, independent, and happier than I could’ve ever imaged. I have learned that you should never settle for anything less than you deserve. I see value in myself that I failed to recognize for a long time. Each and every one of us face our own battles and overcome our own obstacles. Although we may handle these obstacles in different ways, we all overcome them. I believe that although it takes a while to understand why something bad is happening to you, someday you will be able to look back and piece it together. I believe that everything happens in order to get us exactly where we need to be. Do not let your circumstance define you. Life is too short to be unhappy. Create your own circumstance. Keep persevering.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This I Believe: Illness of one family member can change the whole dynamic, without support

    When I was growing up in a household of 4 other siblings and one single parent, navigating through life brought financial and emotional obstacles. Overcoming those obstacles together was easier, before my sister got sick. She had problems with her kidneys for almost half of my life (10 years), which affected everyone in the family. I had to step up and assume the role of my mother, because my sister had earned a residence at the Mass General Hospital. My mother was by her side, researching every night about what her illness was specifically, because the doctors had no concrete answer. We kids were at home, learning how to take care of ourselves, and we would attend school with no homework and no motivation to come back the next day. I was sure that no one else cared what went on at home, and so I hid the pain behind my smile. This behavior continued until I entered high school. There I met my wonderful guidance counselor, who ultimately impacted my life and influenced it positively, because I’m sure that I wouldn’t be entering my 4th year of college if she had not been there for me. As I spent more time with her, I turned my grades and behavior around. With the support at school, I could attend to the stress of my home life, at the same time as I was also learning to love education/school again. I believe that a family member’s illness can change the whole dynamic of the family and works to add emotional stress to everyone. But with support, navigating through the hard issues and topics makes life easier. My guidance counselor showed me that being motivated for things like success in education can change your life, and that of your families for the better.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I believe in forgiveness.

    The general definition of forgiveness is the deliberate decision to let go of feelings of resentment or a grudge towards a person or group who has cause you harm in any way… regardless of whether the forgiveness is deserved.

    Yet….it eats us alive. There is always that one person or thing who we just can’t seem to find a way to accept the fact that they hurt us. They say I’m sorry, we say okay. They move forward and we become stuck. Stuck with no clear view of a happy ending. We allow ourselves to sit in sorrow and let the anger of the thought recur… and recur… and recur. We spend endless nights drowning in our thoughts trying to find a way to understand.. why me? what did I do to deserve this? We let it destroy ourselves from the inside out. We want the pain to be over but where do we start after we are already at this point of what seems to be, no return?

    I believe in forgiveness.

    Its important to remember that forgiveness brings the forgiver peace of mind and frees him or her from the captivities of holding a grudge or being in the state of anger. With that being said, forgiveness starts with you. The first person, no matter the situation, that needs to be forgiven is you. You must forgive yourself for crashing. Forgive yourself for letting the pain you suffered overpower you. At that moment that you are able to forgive yourself, truthfully… it will empower you to recognize that you will not let that pain define you. Thus, allowing you to heal and continue to progress in your life.

    I believe in forgiveness.

    Martin Luther King Jr. said “ We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.” Love makes this world go around. If we cannot forgive our loved ones then how can we love one another unconditionally?

    I believe in forgiveness.

    The one person that society generally claims that a girl is supposed to love most is her mother.. But, my mother was not quite ideal for the fact that she chose an unhealthy lifestyle over her two daughters. The pain and suffering that she put my sister and I through is indescribable. For years and years after the restraining orders, and the court dates, and the endless meetings we lived in a giant pool of anger. It took over our personalities. Made us anti-social, guarded, and isolated at very young ages. When she passed, we realized that the only thing we could do for the sake of her and us… was forgive. And I could not thank God enough for giving me the power to do so because if it wasn’t for me making that decision to let go of all that bottled up anger… I would not be who I am or where I am today. And for that, I am forever grateful.

    I believe in forgiveness.

    Like

  5. I remember the day I was thinking about taking my own life. I was in Ghana in the summer of 2015. At this time, I am 17 years old and too many people that are not old enough to make one’s own decisions like that. In that time I did believe that but all my beliefs went out the window along with my confidence that I have been building for the past seven years of my life. If I had seen at just one smile that day or maybe during the week of, I would have changed my mind. From personal experience, I believe that a smile can not only change someone’s day but their life.
    At that time where I was just really low, there was no one there to smile at me. I was going through some personal issues and along with that, my dad’s family members were passing away throughout the week. So really there was no really no reason for anybody to be smiling in my house other than the very fact that God woke us up every morning to see another day.
    To me, the smallest jester of a smile could have changed the atmosphere of the whole house. It would not have made it dreary or put everyone in the feeling of isolation. It would have shown me that regardless of everything, there will always be something to smile about. In the spirit of that, I took myself to my bathroom mirror and smiled at myself. I told myself that I was worth it and there is always a reason to smile. I may not be able to see in that moment but there is always a reason to smile.

    Like

  6. I believe in interpretations of events. Notice I did not say good or bad interpretations, but just interpretations. In life, we experience events. The way in which we perceive events can make or make break an individual’s meaning or purpose of those events.
    As a counselor, I had the honor of meeting two beautiful 10-year-old twins. Along with their younger sister, the twins were raised by their mother and father. The mother was sweet, supportive, and readily available for any concerns I had about her children while in my care. The dad always showed the twins how to behave, supported them at everything they did, and love them unconditionally. The boys were one-in-a-same and did everything together. They were the most admiring, loving family until tragedy struck. At a young age, the twins lost their father to cancer.
    The twin’s reactions to this life event were different. For confidential purposes, the boys shall be referred to as X and O. Twin X acknowledged his dad’s passing and begin to “step up” and become the man of the house. He began doing better in school, take care of his younger sister, and becoming more kindhearted. He would often say that he wanted to make his father proud because he knew he was watching over him. Unfortunately, Twin O did just the opposite. He began to isolate himself, became unmotivated, barely spoke with anyone and often acted out of anger to express himself. When Twin O did talk, he would say “I just miss my dad”.
    Two people experienced the same event, but their reactions to the event are different. This was because the interpretation of the events were unalike. Twin X had a positive interpretation. He knew his father passed away, but he was going to carry the values his father taught him because he knew it would make his father proud. However, Twin O interpreted the event negatively. He perceived that he was alone because his father passed.
    The way in which we perceive things cause us to behave and react to situations or events. Some people believe in the two-step model: event and reaction; however, I believe in the three-step model: event, interpretation of that event, reaction. With this being said, I challenge people to change their cognitions or thought processes when tolerating a negative situation. This is not an easy task, but I know us students have it within us.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. OL Lance
    I believe in speaking your mind. That the ability for someone to speak their mind not only shows a sense of character and individuality but also breaths perspective through the eyes of someone else that other people may not be able to understand from an immediate view. Being on a college campus for the past three years has shown me perspectives of others that I may have not understand at face value but sitting down with them and trying to understand them gave me logical explanations as to why they believe in what they believe because of past experiences that had greatly affected and impacted their lives. I use to be afraid to speak my mind out of fear of judgement from others, and i realized that people should not fear judgement, because there will always be people who will judge. Those people who judge may not come out a sense of rationality, however, this should not stop someone from being able to speak out on their personal beliefs. College is an institution of different ideology’s and different backgrounds that develop first year students who may be trying to find their voice into well spoken fourth year students. Going into my fourth year, I am going in fearless as to what i believe and those who challenge my held beliefs I respect. I enjoy hearing from people who have polar opposite perspectives on issues, because I want to sit down and speak with them and understand them as to why. We are all humans and I believe that people have naturally good intentions when discussing with others and want to come to the same conclusion through different understandings. In the face of challenge, questioning, and judgement, be fearless, speak your mind, find your voice and most of all be understanding.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I believe in singing. I don’t mean professionally, though that is also another way to support singing, but more like singing with your whole heart- unabashedly and with no shame. There is something about belting out a song without fear of judgement that is a stress relief for me. With the wide variety of songs out there I can pick and choose based off my mood which ones I want to use. I cannot begin to tell you the amount of times I’ve been singing a Celine Dion song (she belts like no one else) and felt my tension just leave my shoulders, or how happy I felt after. It also creates an atmosphere of fun; you don’t have to be super serious about singing or super talented to join in on a jam session. My friends and I would waste nights away just driving with the radio turned all the way up, us shredding vocal cords and beaming with wide smiles and joy. Singing allows us to put on different personas, try out new rhythms and tempos, and really connect to the lyrics. It breaks down awkward barriers between people, allows us to challenge our comfort zones in a safe and fun space, and also allows people to share their passion in music. Singing is a huge part of who I am, whether it’s just me singing in the shower, or having a Moana soundtrack night with my friends I always end the jam sessions with a smile on my face.

    Like

  9. This we believe, this I believe, and I believe in me. Just two years ago when I was an incoming new student, I remember sitting and wondering what exactly it was I believed in and I had no idea. Now fast forward to today… when the question is asked again my immediate thought is that I believe in myself. From the outside it may seem as though I have a huge ego, or I’m too self-involved but it’s actually quite the contrary. In fact that’s the exact opposite of who I am, coming into college my self-confidence was at an all-time low too afraid to put myself out there and be open. Since being here at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth my perception of myself has changed dramatically leaving me to always believe in myself first before ever believing in anything else. Since coming to UMD I have grown immensely, and so has the importance of self-love, which has become something I live by. I realized that sometimes you have to isolate yourself in order to put yourself first and to take care of yourself, to build and grow. Often times at our age we tend to allow others to dictate how we live our lives, and how we treat ourselves in order to fit in. That should never be the case, if you can’t figure out your importance or why you matter, trust and believe any experience you make wont fully leave a mark on you. This we believe, this I believe, and I will always believe in me.

    Like

  10. Gianni Martin

    In a world full of rules and high expectations, have you ever felt that you could not meet any of them? That maybe the normal acts you see on social media and television just don’t describe you one bit? Well that is how I feel everyday when I turn on my phone and browse through the internet full of “normal” people. Growing up I always felt the need to question my actions because I always thought that what I was believing was just wrong. Well at least I thought it was wrong. Just like any young teenage girl, I thought “fitting in” was important. That meant the clothes I wore, TV shows and music I was into and even the religion I believed in. Being “normal” was a goal for me. Normal to me meant having the same interest and beliefs as the people around me. The problem was that very little people around me had the same mentality as myself. I tried to be like “them,” those who seemed to have themselves figured out. I believe that time and experience has an effect on a person’s growth because as more time went by, I begin to realize a consistent pattern. I believe that no one is exactly like anyone, that being said no one is exactly like me. No one completely understands me except for me, and I like that. My normal is not like everyone else’s, and I really like that. Nothing in my life is certain and that’s what makes it special. I can’t make up my mind but that is what keeps me interesting since my everyday thoughts are a little different than the day before. My style of clothes varies along with my religion. But is that a bad thing? If I asked myself that question in middle school I would be ashamed that I don’t fit in. As of right now and from now on, I am more than happy that I am not just like anyone else.

    Like

  11. Brie Flaherty

    Choice allows an individual to decide between a different set of options. I firmly believe in the power of allowing individual to make a choice, depending on the circumstances. From witnessing the power of choice firsthand, I have seen the greatness that arises from making the right decision.

    My uncle was always the type of person who was willing to help anyone with anything. He had such a kind heart and loved spending time with family. Sadly, he was diagnosed with ALS and had to fight the battle for five long years. Even when the end seemed near, Ralph never gave up on himself. Regardless of how much he suffered, he always tried to be the best man he could be. Although he wanted to live, Ralph refused to be kept alive on advanced machinery or other advanced technology. My uncle, the most courageous man I have ever met, took his breathing mask off for the last time and took his last breath in this physical world.

    When I think about his passing, the first word that comes to mind is not sadness but rather dignity. Even though he was diagnosed with a disease that would lead to an inevitable death, my uncle fought this battle with great dignity, character, and a positive attitude. I will carry the memory of those character traits with me. Through the power of choice, he was able to leave the physical world peacefully. Choice allowed him to take control and make the best of the underlying situation.

    Choice is involved with both big and small decisions. Choice can also determine one’s future or what will happen. My uncle had the choice to live his life with dignity while suffering from a deadly disease. He opted to pass on his own terms, putting himself out of misery while allowing our family peace of mind. The power of choice provided my uncle with the option to let the disease get the best of him or allow him to control his inevitable future. Choice plays a large role in everyday life and making crucial, life altering decisions. I believe in the power of choice due to the fact that it allows someone the option of making the right, or sometimes wrong, decision.

    Like

  12. OL Sierra

    You can read a book and you can picture it. You’re able to picture the facial features of your favorite characters, picture the detailed settings of every scene that is printed in black ink on that rusty colored page, picture the very way that one blonde haired girl laughed at her own mistakes. The reader is a visionary of its own intellect, but when your favorite book becomes a motion picture, on the “big screen”, the creativity of the mind evaporates. The blonde girl that laughed so distinctively, is now a brunette. That secret private beach your favorite characters fell in love at, is now a lake near a filled camp. To top it all off, the actress doesn’t even sing THAT well… The whole novel is ruined. Right? But if that is true, why are theaters, and Netflix, and films all so popular? Maybe it’s the famous actress or actor that starred in it? Maybe it’s the effect of the dark room, bright screen, and the cinema atmosphere? My reasoning behind it is because of the soundtrack produced within the film. Don’t get me wrong, we all have our reasons why we enjoy our favorite movies, and the connection one develops to it is inevitable, but I believe that after movie is released into theaters, whether it be four months, five years, or even two decades, after the big premier, it is “Don’t You Forget About Me” that is still stuck in teens heads to this day. That is why I believe the soundtrack of a film is what causes the emotions to show and the adventures to surface, when one is watching a film.

    Like

  13. When asked what I believed in, I realized I needed to take a second to re-evaluate who I am and what I cared about. Anyone close to me would probably tell you my go to Shari-answer would sound something like “I believe in elephants.” And whoever would tell you that…. Is absolutely right; I do believe in elephants. Now when I say this I don’t mean that I believe in an elephants’ ability to exist, because that is simply factual and would make the purpose of an essay that is solely focused on what I believe in to become pointless. No what I believe in is the ability of being a leader AND compassionate, responsible and silly, strong and patient. Notice that I didn’t say yet, because I don’t want to choose from only being one or the other, I want the ability to access all parts of me. Much too often people are so focused on being one type of person they loose the individual attributes that truly make them who they are. All of my mistakes and my faults, and the times that I’ve forgiven and been forgiven, all dictate who I am now. Elephants are unapologetically themselves, that’s what I believe in. Their royal grace and leadership roam their lands, family is everything and not all bonds are made by blood, and passionate in every aspect even at their best and worst. Believing in elephants means the power to believe in yourself.

    Like

  14. Anxiety. What does that word mean to you? What it may mean to you might be different than what it means to me. For someone who struggles with anxiety, things may appear peachy on the outside. Anxiety is not something that physically visible but that does not mean it isn’t real or does not exist. This can be a difficult thing for some to understand and it isn’t necessarily their fault.! Society as created this idea that anxiety either doesn’t exist, isn’t legitimate or is something that can be easily avoided. This really is not the case and those who are impacted by anxiety do not ask for it. There is a huge stigma that comes along with the term and may make some a bit uncomfortable! Educating yourself, read some articles and just know the facts! Without healthy brains, life can get a little stick and it is important to have these conversations to hopefully eliminate that stigma and confusion that comes along with the topic.

    Personally, the way in interpret anxiety is a few stubborn and very unwelcome chemicals that for some reason are unbalanced.

    So if you encounter a person that is so anxious for no clear reason, a person who must randomly isolate themselves from others, and a person who’s just point blank exhausted – know that those unwelcome chemicals that decided to annoy their brain is the one to blame!Do not shame the soul that is so full of life, joy and innocence. I am a person with zero respect for people who don’t take anxiety seriously. Everyone has that something they don’t say out loud. Sometimes talking isn’t enough to explain something so complex. You never know what someone is dealing with and you might not ever know. So always be kind and be aware these things that are beyond our control. Lend a helping hand when you can. You never know the impact you could have on someone that may really needing it!

    Like

  15. I believe in volunteeerism. Although volunteerism is an extremely general term to many people, to me it means the world. Summer of 2016 I traveled to Haiti on a mission trip helping in an orphanage, school, and elderly home. The mission trip was through the nonprofit organization Haiti 180 and was through Saint Joseph’s church in Kingston, Massachusetts. In January of 2017 I traveled to Panajachel, Guatemala on a service trip providing families with water filtration systems and teaching basic health and hygiene in schools. We visited several families in several different villages surrounding Lake Atitlan. The Guatemala service trip was organized through the nonprofit organization Worthy Village (WorthyVillage.org). This July I will be traveling to Guatemala for my second time leading a group of about fifteen college students to continue the water filtration system and basic health and hygiene campaign. Students traveling on this trip are not only from UMass Dartmouth, but also from other universities such as UMass Boston and Westfield State University. I plan to continue my volunteerism throughout my life no matter what career path I choose. I am currently in the major of Bioengineering on the pre-med track and plan to dedicate my life to benefiting the life of others. I am excited to see where my passion grows throughout my life.

    Like

Comments are closed.