True Life: Being a Leader
After being here at Vanderbilt for a little over two years, after getting involved in various activities, meeting so many new people and having new experiences, I’ve learned a lot about what leadership isn’t. We are quick to identify those who hold presidencies and executive board members in student organizations as leaders, and surely, being on an executive board for an organization is an excellent way of honing leadership skills, but leadership goes so much beyond that. Leadership isn’t just organizing events, making decisions and delegating tasks. Leadership also means service to others and sharing experiences – with context to Vanderbilt, leadership means ensuring the vibrancy of the student body and the stimulating growth of incoming leaders.
I’ve seen this explicitly through my time as a VUceptor, and especially in my role as a True Life actor for the past two years. Through True Life, I have been able to share common Vanderbilt experiences with the first year class and help them think about critical issues our community faces in hopes that they can foster a healthier campus and student body. I’ve directly seen the impact of being a True Life actor on my own VUceptees, as many of them have confided that the presentation helped them connect to the resources they needed to cope with issues they had been facing. My experience being an actor showed me that leadership can come in so many forms, and one of them is the mentorship that VUcept/True Life offers to students. To anyone looking for leadership opportunities through organizations, recognize that being a leader can even mean simply doing service in any fashion and being a mentor for the benefit of others and the community!
Written by Pranjal Gupta