Growing up, I was always looking to find someone who I’d “look up to”. Whenever someone asked me, “who’s your role model?” I would never know what to say. Everyone always says their mom, dad, grandma, older sibling or someone who’s related to them. For me, it was just never like that. I think it’s hard to grow up not having a figure you look up to. In some ways, I was lost because of it. But I found ways to keep my footing, to hold for my own. I could become a role model for myself. I molded myself into someone I’m somewhat proud of, but I’m definitely still working on it. Little did I know that I would become someone else’s role model.
This year, I joined a sorority. I was ready to find that older, experienced girl in the house who I would look up to for all my goals and ambitions and who I could aspire to be like. The thing is, I think I’m used to holding out for myself. Instead, the reverse happened. Even though I’m a first year in the house, I’m a second-year student. That means there are freshmen in my pledge class. These girls, let me tell ya.
I was so shocked when one of them shyly told me I was her role model. It was uncomfortable at first because I plainly just was not expecting it. As the weeks went on, more and more girls told me repeatedly that they wanted to be like me. Just last night, we were doing a sisterhood bonding activity where we all had to write down what we wanted to be when we grew up. I put down “tax accountant”, but two girls had put down “be like Jen”.
I feel the love in this house. I really do.
I love that other people know things about me that I don’t even know about myself. I had no idea I could be a positive influence on other girls, that I could be a role model. I had no idea I would ever be “the wise one” who could set a good example for a group of girls who are learning the ropes that is college and “adulting”. I didn’t realize I was known for being the one in the house who “has her sh*t together”. I didn’t realize I would be able to motivate others to work hard and obtain those goals.
I didn’t know I had the power to inspire.
This realization, this positive new aspect of my life has opened my eyes and it’s made me hungry for more. I want to go out there and be a role model for other girls. I want to be that leader other people look up to. I want to give advice, and influence, and see those people I influenced succeed.
One of my goals prior to joining a sorority was to seek and find my persona identity. I feel like this realization that I have, the power to inspire is part of it. I didn’t expect for the pieces to fall together so quickly, but it has.
I feel like this is a turning point. For the better.