SOAR is the Student Experience Office’s annual leadership conference taking place in January (including guest speaker Tessa Virtue)! If you haven’t been before, here’s five ways to make the most out of your experience:
Don’t Be Afraid to Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone
At SOAR your day consists of education sessions where you can learn and develop leadership skills. While you get to pick your schedule beforehand, it took me a long time to figure out which sessions I wanted to do! Everything sounded so interesting, but there were some education sessions where I didn’t think I would fit in. Luckily, one of my best friends convinced me to do one with her, and it provided me with some of the best advice I’ve ever received – stay tuned.
Connect With Other Students
I want to stress the importance of talking to other students in the sessions you go to! Everyone took a different journey to get here, so you never know what interesting advice or facts someone might want to share. It also helps to have someone to bounce ideas and discuss the education sessions with – you learn so much that it can be helpful to get another perspective.
Remember That There is No One Way to Be a Leader
This is still something I struggle with today. During your time at SOAR, you will meet so many amazing people in your sessions and throughout the day. If someone seems more accomplished or more outgoing than you, that is not a big deal. I remember one of my workshop leaders was someone I had classes with, and I could not believe that they were leading a workshop! It is super important to remember that everyone has a different journey and leadership style – some people may have had more opportunities to develop their skills, or this may be someone’s first time learning about leadership. It is so important to allow yourself and others to see and understand this, and it’ll allow you to learn so much more.
Take Notes Throughout the Day
SOAR is filled with inspiring and interesting presenters and education sessions filled with information. There is absolutely no way you will be able to remember everything which is why I suggest writing it down! While there are no exams, these notes are a fantastic way to help you reflect on what you learned and how you can implement those skills or changes into your life. Maybe one of the presenters said something that really stuck with you and you want to remember it, or you thought of a way to implement one of the tips in your life. Write it down!
Take Time to Reflect
Going to SOAR was one of the best and most fulfilling experiences of my life, but it was a very busy day. I learned so much about myself and how to develop my skills. After the day, I went through the notes I took and spent some time reflecting. One of the workshops I went to was about how to take life at your own pace. Being in university, every student is at a different stage in their life and have different levels of skills. This workshop helped me realized that life is not a race in any way – everyone will pass milestones at different times and have different accomplishments, and that is fine. So what if you have not traveled the world yet or you take a couple extra years to graduate? The session taught me that everyone lives their life at a different pace. Being able to reflect on all I learned helped me so much as I am now able to use those tips to make myself and my life better!
If reading this has made you want to sign up for SOAR, find out more about the conference and registering on the SOAR website.
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