Saturday, July 31, 2010

Just a Small Town Girl

Yesterday afternoon, my parents drove me down to the Peoria bus station, so I could catch a bus up to Chicago. My job officially starts on Sunday, but I wanted to spend some time visiting college friends one last time before I leave! The Peoria bus station is interesting/sketchy/dynamic. Surrounding me at the bus station were folks completely unlike myself. I was wearing one of my favorite Express dresses, lugging two black suitcases adorned with pink accessories (luggage tags, locks, and braided yarn for extra identification), and carrying my leather briefcase. Everyone else? Let's just say I question the last time any of them showered.

The bus was a few minutes late, but we loaded pretty quickly. I hugged my parents goodbye and boarded the bus. Goodbye Peoria.

Within 5 minutes, we were on the Interstate and driving through cornfields. This is pretty typical highway scenery for central Illinois, but as I sat on the bus, I could feel the anticipation of bus-riders surrounding me as we headed towards the "Big City".

Almost 5 hours later, we finally pulled into O'Hare Airport and I caught the El into the city. I'm glad to be here, and I can't wait to see all of my friends!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Brat Pack Reunion '10

Brat Pack (bræt pæk) noun: A group of five high school best friends from Washington, Illinois. We are Sarah, Sarah, Tara, Bree, and Kayleigh. Aka Rosie, Black, Tadams, Brezy, and LAKEMONSTER, respectively.

5 years ago, we officially became the Brat Pack. I'm not sure exactly how it happened, but the group of us were jamming along with Rocket Summer's song, "Brat Pack," and it seemed to describe our lives perfectly. If you haven't heard it, I suggest you YouTube it right now. Everyone loves it because it's so catchy.

This past weekend was our Brat Pack Reunion for the summer. Unfortunately (or fortunately) we all graduated from college this past May (except Bree who is in a 6 yr pharmacy program) and are about to embark on many different adventures. It's sad to think we're starting to have trouble finding a time the five of us can get together, but I guess we're just growing up.

As if I'm not about to do enough travel in the next year, I joined the rest of the Brat Pack in Heritage Lake, Indiana at Tara's Aunt and Uncle's lakehouse. They were wonderful hosts and the five of us had a great time. We ate and drank too much, slept too little, tubed, tanned, and got frightened by the LAKEMONSTER.

Tubing was so much fun and when we got bored with regular tubing, we tubed on our knees. Here I am demonstrating my new skills.

...And then we tubed on the two man tube. Near the end of the trip, the rope was detached so it wouldn't get caught in the propeller. Bree and I had to doggie-paddle back to the dock. We were surprisingly successful, I might add.

After it was all said and done, we had our picture taken. Please don't look too closely, as none us us had showered, combed our hair, or done absolutely anything to make ourselves presentable.

This weekend was the perfect first and last get together for the five of us this summer. I'm going to miss these girls dearly next year!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Let the Packing Commence

This morning when I woke up, I had two packages waiting on my doorstep, containing the travel accessories I ordered earlier in the week. Patience has never been my strong suit, and thus I decided to start packing (a week in advance). My logic: I'm not doing anything better with my time and its not like I'm running around in business casual clothes right now anyway. Heck, I'm lucky if I make it out of Soffe shorts and a sports bra these days.

After a day of laundry and organizing, I can happily say I'm done with the first stage of packing. Everything I need can fit into my large suitcase, but definitely not within 50 lbs. This afternoon, Dave told me he gets to travel with 70 lbs. of luggage since he's in the military. Wow. This is the first time I've seriously considered enlisting.

In the next few days, I need to work on rearranging and maybe reducing. I'm going to pack a few outfits into my carry-on in the event that my luggage gets lost. (My biggest fear for next year!) I also plan on packing my heaviest items in there (travel iron, shoes, hairdryer, stationary, electronics) so I can stay under all of the weight limits! Unless of course I join the military before then.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

How I became an LC

Almost a year ago, I was looking at the field representatives application, thinking about applying. To date, our chapter had had three LC visits and I loved every one of them! Wouldn't I love to work for my sorority for a year? Well, duh. I was simultaneously in the process of applying to medical school, but I had my doubts at times and what if I didn't get in this application cycle? I wanted to have a back-up plan.

I filled out the application, and I filled it out quickly. Being a member of my sorority had been such a big part of my undergraduate career, I didn't need to think about why I wanted the job, the words practically wrote themselves. November 1, it was submitted and out of my hands.

And then I waited.

And waited.

And in the mean time, I had been completely medical school minded. I had had interviews, been accepted to Creighton School of Medicine--not really thinking about the job at all.

And then in early January, I missed a call from the Director of Field Reps. I called her back and she missed it. I hate phone tag. I was on my way to Springfield, IL to stay the night with my friend Will's family before my Southern Illinois Med. School interview, and I was anxiously anticipating her phone call the entire way. I was standing on the doorstep of Will's house with my luggage and had just rung the doorbell when my phone started ringing. I looked at the caller ID and saw her number. I was NOT about to miss this call again, so I answered the phone right as Will answered the door.

The next 3 minutes were a total blur. As I walked in the door, I was offered to fly out to Headquarters to interview at the end of the month. I was practically screaming yes, as Will's family stared at me. After a few seconds of ignoring them, the family disbanded and I was still standing in their entryway celebrating on the phone. In retrospect, it was probably one of my rudest moments, especially considering this was my first time meeting them and they were graciously letting me stay in their home. As soon as I got off the phone, I tried as quickly as possible to make amends. Thankfully, his mother was also very involved in her sorority and understood the magnitude of the phone call I had just received.

Fast forward 3 weeks to interview weekend.

20 girls were invited to interview for 10 positions: 8 Leadership Consultants and 2 new Chapter Consultants. These 20 girls had all been strong leaders in their chapters, and most of us clicked instantly. It was like having a giant sleepover, with a lot of business added in. Here is a picture of the group of us at interview weekend!

After interview weekend, I was very anxious to hear if I had been selected as an LC for this upcoming year! About 2 weeks later, I missed another phone call from the Director of Field Reps because I was in class. When I called back though, she answered and I was offered the position. In the third floor of the business building, where I had been cutting through from my class back to the chemistry department, I literally started jumping around. "Well....?" she asked. "I don't know what to say!" I replied. She laughed, "Hopefully, yes!"

My response: "Yes, but maybe." The only way I could take this job was if I got a deferral to medical school. The very next day, I submitted my application for a deferral to CUSOM and then I had to wait. My sorority was anxious to release the list of new field reps, so even though I hadn't heard back from Creighton, I went out on a limb and accepted the position, almost positive I would get the deferral. The next three weeks were very stressful, and I checked my email every day for notice of my deferral. The whole time I kept my news on the DL, telling only my closest friends and family, for fear that I wouldn't get the deferral. I couldn't even tell my sorority sisters I had been offered the job!!

Finally, on the Wednesday before Spring Break I got the fateful call from the Director of Admissions as CUSOM granting me the deferral. That night at chapter Kallie, our Vice President of Standards, announced my news to the chapter with a very clever poem.

The rest is history. Below is a picture of the group of girls chosen as this year's Field Reps. This is a goofy picture of us, taken late at night on our last night at Convention this summer. Michelle was in a wheelchair behind us, but she stuck her boot up in the air, haha.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

T minus 2 weeks

Now that I'm less than two weeks away from Training School, I feel appropriate starting a countdown. Not only am I two weeks away from starting a job I have been looking forward to for months, I realized I have A LOT to do!!

Tonight I went to (LOVE it!) and ordered some travel accessories for next year. Although I might have taken it a little overboard, I'm pretty happy with the purchases I made:

-Three sets of packing cubes, all sizes (Def returning the Target ones!)
-2 sets of shoe bags for shoes and for laundry maybe?
-Two TSA approved luggage locks. Amazing.
-Travel jewelry box
-7 oz. luggage scale (Bought the lightest one they had)

I'm also such a huge organization freak, I have no doubt I'll use all aforementioned accessories! I can't wait for them to arrive in two days so I can start packing for real!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A high maintenance girl

Every morning I get ready and glimpse around my room. "How and the heck am I going to cut it next year?" I think. My shower has every kind of shampoo, conditioner, bodywash, and facewash a girl could ask for. You may wonder, does a girl need 6 different types of shampoo? The answer is no, I do not need them. But I want them. My closest, even after a thorough cleaning out/donation frenzy, is still full to the brim. I could wear a different outfit everyday for a year, provided I'm willing to wear some bizarre combinations come November or December.

This next year is going to teach me how to "simplify". I'm not exactly going to a third world country, but packing in one large and one carry-on sized suitcase will be "roughing it" as far as I'm concerned. Anyone who knows me knows that I am incredibly particular and quite the planner/organizer. I have been packing for this year (in my mind) since I was offered the job. During summer shopping trips I have allowed myself to buy only sorority business casual clothes for next year with the exception of a few summer must-haves. I have also purchased packing cubes, two different toiletry kits, a new hair dryer, a travel steamer, and new luggage tags. My next purchases will likely be a portable luggage scale and resistance bands for on-the-go workouts.

Target sells a perfect little luggage scale, and I've been debating it for awhile. My current method of weighing my luggage goes as such:
1) Step on the scale and weigh myself
2) Grumble about gaining two or three pounds
3) Hold my suitcase and weigh me+suitcase
4) Do some math and find the difference!

So far this method has been working out well for me, but I don't know if I'll have access to a scale everywhere, so I want a travel scale. I'm not sure what I'd do if I was over the weight limit anyway.... throw out my least favorite outfit on the road? And buying dumb things like travel scales is whats going to put me over 50 pounds.

Packing clothes is going to be a challenge. Previous LC's have joked about their Monday outfit, Tuesday outfit, Wednesday outfit, etc. I can see this will likely be the case, but I'm wondering what the girls from Montana and Rollins are going to think when I wear the same outfits to both of my visits. Shoes are going to be even more difficult. I have decided to go with a black color scheme wardrobe (aka no brown) so that I only have to pick black shoes and can hopefully have a wider variety. I honestly think I'll be ok, until the first snow hits and I'm crying for my UGG boots. 1) UGGs would take up a lot of room in a suitcase and are also fairly heavy. 2) Apparently UGG boots are not business casual. Try telling that to my Creighton University sorority sisters who think they are appropriate for formal chapter. I have to admit, I never disagreed when there was a foot of snow on the ground. Anyway, no reason to stress out about boots now. It was 95 degrees today.

As August 1 creeps closer, there will inevitably be some packing drama.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Here Goes Nothing

After reading my co-worker, Carolyn's blog, I've decided I need to start my own. This is hardly my first blog, but hopefully my most successful. My hope is that I can keep my family and friends updated on my adventures as I tour the United States (and maybe Canada?).

This upcoming year I have signed on to what will inevitably be the craziest year of my life. I took a job with my sorority as a Leadership Consultant. Myself and seven other women were hired to travel the country, meet with different chapters, and in general, help them to improve! This job will take me to a new city every week for the next school year (August through May). Although I am looking forward to this opportunity, there will undoubtedly be unexpected adventures along the way.

It is halfway through July and come August 1st, I will be at our Headquarters for Training School. The next weekend, we ship out. Here is my schedule for this semester:

August 8-13: Oklahoma University
August 15-20: University of Tennessee
August 22-27: University of Montana
August 29-September 3: Whitman College
September 5-10: University of Montana
September 12-17: DePauw University
September 19-24: Rollins College
September 26-October 1: Denison University
October 3-8: University of Richmond
October 10-15: Texas Tech
October 17-22: Colorado State University
October 24-29: Arizona State University
October 31-November 5: University of Connecticut
November 7-12: Villanova
November 14-19: Rollins College
November 21-28: Thanksgiving Break!
November 28-December 3: University of Oregon
Christmas Break!

We spend the week (Sunday night-Friday morning) with the chapters and have our weekend free to do small side trips. If I am going to be in your area, please let me know! I'm already starting to schedule some trips, and I'd love to see you!

Kisses, Sarah Rose