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Why Stepping Into a Leadership Role Changed My Life for the Better: A Quiet Girl’s Billet-Doux to Presidency

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Bowling Green chapter.
My entire life i felt like a follower. too scared to be the one leading the pack. doubtful that i had the skills to guide others. when i young, as early as middle school — i pretty much decided that leadership wasn’t for me.

That is, until i became president.

I joined BGSU’s Her Campus chapter in Fall 2022. I was completely new to student organizations at this point, despite it being my second year in college. At first, I just wanted a group to be a part of; somewhere I could meet new people and feel comfortable (with the added bonus that we also write). I was a regular member — writing my articles and attending meetings. Then, one random day in March of this year, I was presented with the opportunity to apply to be Co-President of our chapter. The previous Chapter Leaders had other commitments and needed to find two people to take over for them. For some reason, right then and there, I knew I needed to apply.

A few days passed and I heard back from our current (at the time) Co-Presidents asking if my (now) Co-President and I were still interested. Of course, we said absolutely! After that, we spent the summer completing the transitioning process from members to Co-Presidents. By the time the fall semester rolled around, it was time to kick things into gear.

Our chapter struggled last year with a few things: building a strong community and member retention being two of the most prominent. My Co-President and I already knew going into this school year that we had those two major challenges to focus on and improve. We spent the first month of the semester focusing on recruiting new members and spreading the word about our organization. We tabled at our college’s Campus Fest and had an amazing turnout with around 90 prospective member sign-ups. We had our first meeting as Co-Presidents which was so nerve-wracking for me at first — I’ve never felt good at public speaking and I’ve definitely never felt strong as a leader.

But something about seeing all of the girls’ faces and watching them listen to what we were saying felt more rewarding than I can explain. Even at our first meeting, we already had some girls in our group who were ready to socialize and get to know everybody, which I’ve always admired so much about them. We wrapped up, said our goodbyes, and had a little Exec recap meeting afterward. This happened again, and again, and again — and here we are now.

Finals are less than a month away and I can’t help but reflect on my first semester as a Co-President of a student organization. I never thought I’d be here, let alone two years into an organization that I love so dearly. We’ve had a handful of successful events so far — our first being a Tote Bag Decorating Event, then a group date at a local coffee shop, our Spooky Soiree Halloween Party (which had the largest turnout in Her Campus BGSU history, may I add!), and coming up is our last event of the semester; a Stretch & Relax group class at our campus rec center. Having all of these different events has given each one of us the opportunity to connect with each other, embrace our passions together, and build friendships that exist beyond just Her Campus.

It’s been such a beautiful experience being able to foster a community that feels tight-knit, safe, and comfortable for individuals of all backgrounds and stories. Growing up, I always wondered what it’d be like to be a woman who inspired others and gave people the platform to truly be themselves & embrace their individuality. I had no idea what that would take or if I’d even be able to get there. I always felt so small, so inferior, so less than; I never gave myself the chance to experience the beauty of leading others because it just always felt like that was meant for somebody else.

When I started posting content on my social media that is real and true to who I am, women from around the world started reaching out to me to tell me how much I inspire them and make them feel comfortable in their own skin. I had never experienced this before. I felt a feeling I can’t even explain — but at the time I knew it was something I needed to tap into. Inspiring other girls and being someone people can find solace in relating to literally feeds my soul.

The more I’ve realized how amazing it is to connect with and guide other women, the more I realize I’ve become the woman the little version of me needed. The woman that ten-year-old Alexis couldn’t even imagine being.

Every time I get a message from one of my girls asking about our next event or an article they’re writing or something they’re excited about — I can’t help but feel like my inner child is dancing and jumping up and down. Having the privilege to cultivate an environment that makes other women feel excited, motivated, safe, and confident is something I’ve found to be my calling; one of my life’s purposes; my passion.

To all my quiet, introverted girls out there — not to sound cheesy, but you are not alone, and that also doesn’t define you. Even though I’m in a presidential position now, I’m still an overall quiet person, especially in public and around new people. I still get massively anxious before presentations and job interviews. I still deal with feeling self-conscious and inferior; the only difference now is that I give myself the space to feel those things and then I remind myself of what is true and real — like my love for others, my accomplishments, my ability to connect with other people, my personality, etc. Then I remember how far I’ve come and how much I’ve grown; mentally, spiritually, emotionally — and that’s what truly matters.

Alexis is Co-President of Her Campus at BGSU and a third-year senior studying Marketing. Her passions include graphic/digital design, her spirituality, content creation, pasta, writing, and inspiring other women. She enjoys writing about womanhood, college lifestyle, wellness, and relationships. She also has her own blog, her glow, that she started in 2021 and has been working on building ever since.