I’ve been told by countless people in Campus Housing that I need to go to at least one leadership conference during my college years. For one reason or another, I found myself in my junior year, having held numerous leadership positions throughout my years here, yet never attending a leadership conference despite all of the encouragement I’d received. This time, I had absolutely no excuse to not be on the delegation; UIC hosted this fall’s CASCHA (Chicago Area Student and Campus Housing Association) conference. Our school hasn’t won a bid to host for a long time, so this is a really big deal! Schools from all over Chicagoland (some even as far as Valpo!) came out for the daylong conference to attend sessions put on by fellow leaders and professional housing staff as well as network/meet other Campus Housing leaders.
I was scheduled to present on leadership and social media from 3:30-4:15. I had no idea how I was going to talk for that long, but I had all day to think about that. The conference started bright and early. I groggily walked out of the residence halls into the Montgomery Ward Lounge and found myself facing a large, loud group of people, all from different Chicago area universities. It was really cool to see all of the different student leaders who, despite being from completely different schools, faced the same challenges and shared the same successes.
My presentation went well, and when it was over, I felt as if 1,000,000 pounds was lifted off of my shoulders (I worked really hard on the presentation and stressed out about it quite a bit.) I was sad to see all of the student leaders go, but it is really cool to know so many other student leaders at our neighboring schools. Our delegation had a great time and represented UIC perfectly.
The conference was such a great experience, and I am so glad that I can finally say I attended a leadership conference while living here in housing. It is incredible that Campus Housing offers us so many opportunities to get involved and become a leader in a way that best suits you. I definitely plan to attend more in the very near future (hopefully the Illinois State Residence Assistant Association next semester!) Talk to you next week!