#FearlessFebruary: Rushing an Honorary

24 Feb

During my freshman year, I was excited to start getting involved and really had no problem pushing myself out of my comfort zone- because I hadn’t created one yet. Now that I’ve found my rhythm and a comfortable place at the U of A, it’s been a lot harder for me to try new things. I’m afraid of not getting accepted, committing to something and then finding out that I don’t like it, and distracting myself too much from my academics.

This February, I have really pushed myself to try new things that I’ve been wanting to do but always held back. One of those things was rushing a pre-health professions honorary, AED. Anyone who knows me can testify that I am definitely an introvert. I’m fine being in social situations, but I need some time alone afterward to decompress and re-energize myself. Spending a week straight attending social engagements where I have to approach people and keep the conversation going are pretty much the last thing I’d willingly do. It’s exhausting and nerve-wracking.

The first event was an informational session and we played a few games afterward. I was pretty much a wreck the entire time. My heart was pounding, I thought I might puke, and I tried to talk to the officers, but they absolutely intimidated me. I went home pretty disappointed with myself for not making more of an effort. At each of the next casual events, I kept reminding myself how much I wanted to be a part of this organization, and that I needed to make a serious effort for that to be a possibility. Luckily, I found someone from one of my classes freshman year who was also rushing and we went to talk to the officers together. I found myself feeling much more at ease and was able to get to know them. Eventually, I actually enjoyed having to answer a lot of similar questions and maintaining longer conversations. I had to hold my own and stand out in the group, which was not easy.

Overall, this was a great experience. Even though I didn’t get a bid, I definitely learned so much about myself. I am much more capable of putting myself out there than I thought I was. Even in new and uncomfortable situations, I can rise above the urge to run away from situations that make me very nervous. I definitely enjoy forming meaningful connections with others, and the entire rush process reminded me that it’s one of my strengths. I’m always grateful for experiences in life that show me more of who I truly am.

-Gabriela

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