And like that, the year is coming to a screeching halt.  I say screeching, because I predict the next few weeks will involve a lot of my own screeches as I tackle countless finals and term-papers.  It’s funny, looking back at August-David and comparing him to Current-David.  I have undergone quite the transformation: so much so, that I struggle to recognize the person who appears in reflections and photographs.  I’ve changed, and definitely for the better.  My roommate and I were talking about it the other day, and we agreed that the difference between our selves now and our selves then are two very different people.  He said to me, “It’s crazy… I don’t know who that person is anymore.”

I threw myself (and withdrew myself) from countless groups and organizations this year.  In each group that I stuck with, I brought and applied my leadership style to the best of my ability.  As an Alpha Leadership facilitator, I brought my energy and communication skills to help guide other students down the beginning of their leadership paths.  In my lead team, I learned how to better my organizational skills after missing a meeting.  At the desk, I embodied servant leadership, as my duty was to specifically serve and connect with the residents in my hall.  All of these things came naturally and made sense; where my applications show real growth are in my every day life.

Since my sophomore year of high school, I have stressed integrating leadership as a lifestyle.  I picked up the idea from a leadership camp, and loved the way it sounded.  I guess I never really understood it until this year, though.

It is common for college students to face adversity, moral-dilemmas, and other heart-wrenching facets of life while in their first year; at least, that’s what I’ve been told.  And as often as I was warned about these dangers of living individually, my jaw drops at the amount of crap that this year has put me, and those close to me, through.  Handling with the struggles of balancing social and academic life, finding groups to join, noting groups to avoid, having to give up, having to persevere, dealing with loss, and so much more on my own has tested myself personally.

In contrast, I experienced a countless array of triumphs.  I am excelling in classes, worked on my lead team through the LI, volunteered as a facilitator in the spring session of Alpha Leadership, was recognized by the Foreign Languages Department, and was accepted to assume the role of an RA next fall.  Countless leaps and bounds further affected my psyche and presented new lessons to learn.

College really is a roller coaster, huh?  I’m still screeching.

Therefore, I see my most growth as a leader finally integrating itself outside of groups and classes, but further into my every day life.  My leadership style has really evolved to become my only style, and I am so grateful that I am going through this transformation to truly better myself every day.  I am no longer August-David, who felt he only need apply leadership theory during leadership activities.  I am not David, simply David, who can apply leadership to life in every aspect.  I can do this because of the struggles and triumphs made during this past year.

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