Tag Archives: college

What I Learned at College

Growing up I was always told high school would be the best 4 years of my life. While I focused on school work, my shot putt footwork, and FFA I realized that for many this would be their favorite 4 years, but it wouldn’t be mine. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the people I went to school with, I made some lifelong friendships, and had experienced things that helped shape me into who I am. From breaking my personal shot put record my senior year to winning the state Ag Sales competition, these experiences truly showed me that working hard and preparation can really make a difference. However, growing up as a first generation student, I never really knew how to prepare for college; the diversity, the classes, the freedom, and the homesickness. This is where I begin to tell you on what I have learned from college as a first generation college freshman.

1) The Diversity:

I grew up in a very small town in northern Illinois, basically in the middle of nowhere. Needless to say, I never experienced much diversity with other cultures and overall just different minded people. Let me tell you one thing I noticed the first time I walked onto the great campus of K-State, the people. Everyone walking around me had some sort of buddy, they were all happy. I never noticed how many different backgrounds could make up a campus until that first day. These people all mixed and I realized that here on campus I could finally experience a wide range of diversity. Whether it was when I got to work with several people from all around the globe, people from Kansas, or even other people from Illinois that all had different experiences and and backgrounds that brought them here.

2) The Classes:

Let me start out by saying the very first class I went to my very first semester, I fell asleep (SHHH don’t tell my mom). I was sitting in the very back of my first huge lecture hall, psychology 101. The reason for this mid-day snooze was a mix of not being able to sleep the night before from nerves of my first day and a very, very monotone professor. I won’t name any names on who this professor was, but she turned out to be an extremely passionate in psychology and teaching. This was my first experience of what college classes were like. However, as the semester continued on I realized these classes take a lot more work than I ever experienced. I was always used to not having to study and classes coming easy to me. Well if that is how high school was for you, then I will let you know that college changes all study and work habits. At least it did for me, and I hope knowing this could help any future college students with classes.

3) The Freedom:

I always knew that I would no longer have my parents and teachers watching over me, making sure I was in class, and pushing me to do my best. It truly didn’t set in until that 8:30 class on a Monday in the middle of the semester. I woke up and didn’t want to go to class and I didn’t have to. To be honest with you I wanted to lay in bed all day and watch netflix, but I couldn’t. Since I was paying to go to class, I needed to go to class.

4) The Homesickness:

Growing up, my family has always been close. My two older brothers helped raise me and shape me into who I am. So when I moved to Kansas (9 hours away from my little town and family) it was hard to leave. I never knew how hard until about three weeks into the semester. It was the longest I have been away from them. That feeling is something that can’t be explained and it can’t be prepared for. I believe that feeling homesickness is one of the best things I have learned at college, because it reminds me of all those back home whom I love and who love me.

In Sisterhood,

Kendra Snyder

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Dear Younger Sister,

Dear Younger Sister(s),

Being the oldest in a family of 3 girls, I always wished I had an older sibling to be able to help me through new situations and always be there to give me advice. Instead, I was the guinea pig for my parents on everything from how to deal with curfews to going through the college decision making process. Through my years I have learned a few key lessons that I feel are some of the most important and what I wish I knew before going to school. So to my sisters and really anyone else, here are a few key pieces of advice to take into consideration in college and in life in general.

1. Never lose your faith

When coming to college, this was one of the first and biggest lessons I learned. My faith was a huge part of my life back home and something that very much shaped me into the person I am today. By keeping my faith through college, especially the first few months where everything was changing, I was able to keep that part of my life consistent and I knew I could always go to God whenever I was feeling homesick, beaten down, or even when something amazing was happening. God will always be on your side and by knowing that, I know you can get through anything.

2. Don’t be afraid to be weird

I know that in middle school and high school all you want to do is fit in. I’m telling you now that it’s not all it cracks up to be. Don’t be afraid to be weird, different or break a norm because you think you will be judged. I promise that if anyone judges you for being yourself, they aren’t worth your time. Make sure that you are making it more of a point to make yourself happy, rather than trying to just fit in, fitting in is boring anyways.

3. Don’t let your life revolve around boys

I know this is very cliché and in school one of the biggest things to talk and think about is boys, however, don’t let that been the only thing you think about. There’s so much more to life than what boy you have a crush on or who likes who. On the same point make sure you’re not wasting all you time on a boy who doesn’t even think twice about you because you are worth so much more than that.

4. Take chances

Never be afraid to try new things or break out of you comfort zone. This is one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in college as you are given so many chances to try new things. You may not like everything you try and that is absolutely okay, but I promise if you don’t, you might live with regret. Whether that be trying something small like a new food dish or deciding to go to Arizona with your best friends, don’t be afraid to say yes and try new experiences because college is the best time to do this.

5. Call home every chance you get

Finally, one of the most important things is to remember your family even while your crazy busy at school. A call home can mean so much to your family and even if it’s a short 2 minute chat on your way to class. That little call will go so far and will leave you and your family feeling happy.

I could go on with many more little pieces of advice, but for now I feel as though these 5 are enough. Keep these in mind as you head into your college years and life in general.

In sisterhood,

Claire

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How Sigma Alpha Helped Me Graduate Employed

College will hands down be the most amazing experience of your young adult life. Is college easy? Absolutely not! Is college all fun and games and good times in Aggieville? Not by a long shot! There will be, without a doubt, an abundance of late nights, bad professors, horrible roommates and classes that put you through hell. Personally, I shed a lot of tears and made a lot of calls home to Mom and Dad just to survive the rough times. However, college has blessed me with the chance to travel to amazing new cities, an abundance of lifelong friendships and crazy memories that I’ll cherish for a lifetime.

Despite the ups and downs and curveballs college throws at you, the whole goal of college, whether you’re going onto graduate school or vet school or simply pursuing your under grad, is to get a job when you’re done. With everything we have going on as students it’s easy to lose sight of our end goal. As a graduating senior looking back at my college experience I can honestly say Sigma Alpha had a huge role in preparing me for my future career. And here is how:

4. Professionalism, Professionalism, professionalism

As a former FFA and FBLA member, I thought I had professionalism down to a “T”, at least for someone of my age and experience. Boy was I wrong. With Sigma Alpha’s emphasis on professionalism I have learned how to handle many different situations in a professional manner. Anything from personality conflicts to dancing the night away at Emerald Ball, my sisters have lead by example and surrounded me with knowledge and experience that I would not have been exposed to otherwise.

3. Confidence

Never in a million years did I imagine that I would be the Social Chair of an organization. Before college I preferred to stay at home with my books than go out and socialize. Meeting an entire organization that shares my values and interests changed the game for me. Sigma Alpha helped me step out of my comfort zone and grow as a person and a professional in ways I never would have without those relationships in my life.

2. Support Through the Failures

You will, without a doubt, experience rejection more times than you can count. Boys will dump you, friends will ditch you and employers will say “no”. I went through four different job interviews before I was offered my position. For every milestone I reached and accomplishment I made, there was a long list of failures and embarrassments that came before it. My experience with Sigma Alpha has taught me that failure is a very unpleasant but necessary part of life and that the most important part of rejection is to surround yourself with people who love you and support you despite your failures.

1. The Ag Industry is Home

During my long job search, I interviewed with a wide variety of companies. I interviewed for finance and analyst positions and I was genuinely excited about them at the time. However, after I left the interviews and I was the only one in the room who knew what meat science and agronomy were, I knew those positions were not the ones for me. Sigma Alpha inspired me to follow my passion for agriculture and showed me that this industry is the only place I will ever feel truly at home.

I have to sincerely say thank you to Sigma Alpha for all that you have done for me. I will never forget the memories and lessons you’ve shared or how much I grew while being a part of this amazing organization. Carry on your traditions with pride and never forget to live life with the heart of the bull.

In sisterhood,

Megan Schuster

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Tips on How to be Organized in College (From the Most Overly-Excessive Organized College Student)

Be Prepared.

I know some people suggest waiting to get textbooks until the first week of classes. That the professor for that class will tell you if you actually need it or not. At least at Kansas State, if it says you need the textbook, you probably need the textbook. Unless the textbook is crazy expensive, or you’ve talked to a friend who has already taken the class, get the textbook wayyyy in advance. What I do is order from Amazon.com, and pick the cheapest one. It usually takes a month of so to get here, but its super cheap. (i.e. I got a $50 textbook for $8; totally worth it. I attached screen shots of the book I got for cheap. Now, it’s too close to the school starting that you can’t get it for that cheap!)

Screen Shot 2017-01-04 at 12.18.30 PM.pngScreen Shot 2017-01-04 at 12.18.53 PM.png

Also, when you do get your textbook, read the first chapter, or even the first few pages. Make sure this class isn’t going to be way over your head. If you can’t even understand the first few pages, maybe you need to set up a tutor, or do a little pre-studying before the class starts. It may sound like it’s a little much, but it keeps the stress down for me knowing I’m not going to be overloaded with a bunch of material that sounds like French to me.

Keep your classes separated.

Whether you hand write your notes or type them, keep all your classes separated. It makes me cringe when I see someone use one notebook for all classes. I use OneNote from Microsoft Office to take notes. This has tons of awesome features! You can record a lecture in class as you take notes. When you go back to listen to the lecture, it will follow along with the notes you were typing during that time in the lecture. You can also share these notes with other people in the class. (There is an option to allow editing or read only) In most of my classes, the teacher asks a student to send notes to a student who is disabled or has trouble taking notes during class. I can just allow them to see the notebook and BAM. They have my updated notes for the rest of the year.

screen-shot-2017-01-04-at-11-45-27-am            You can separated your classes into different “notebooks.” I make a notebook a different class, or even clubs, to make it easy to find what I need.

 

You can also have different sections. I use this for before midterm and after midterm. You can separate these into tons of different things, but this is what works for me. The sections are the tabs at the top of the document. Finally, you can make different pages. These are on the right side of the screen. I use these for different lecture topics or chapters of a textbook. Below I have inserted a screen shot of a page of my notes. (I green highlight anything my professor hints will be on the test.)screen-shot-2017-01-04-at-11-44-16-am

Plan to do assignments and papers.

A big problem most students have with getting assignments done on time is they only write that assignment on the due date in their calendar. If you know you have free time during days before the assignment is due, write that assignment down! That way when you look at that day, you can be reminded to at least start that assignment or paper.

Put yourself in an environment where you like to get stuff done!

If you get distracted easily at home, don’t study at home. I like to go to coffee shops; I can focus, I have a constant source of food or drinks, no one (usually) talks to me, and I am energized by well tasting coffee. (Shout out to Arrow Coffee Co.)

Have “Get Yourself Together” days.

Okay, this is something I completely made up for myself, but it works for me. If I know I have nothing to do on a certain day, (Say after church on Sunday) I have a “get myself together” day. Basically, from the time I can start, I don’t watch Netflix, I don’t nap, I don’t lay in my bed on Pinterest, I do things that are going to help me out for that week. I do laundry, dishes, make my bed, write things in my planner, take out the trash, run errands, pay bills, go grocery shopping… ya know, adult stuff. Usually, once I get a couple things done, I get on a roll. I then want to do more and more stuff. The best part is when you come home from errands and the house is clean, there are clean dishes and clean clothes and you get a refreshing feeling.

All you have to do is find out what makes you an organized person, and do that. It’s different for every person, but if you get in a routine, everything gets easier.

In Sisterhood,

Ashley Ellenz

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Fight For Yourself

It sounds cliché right? Fight for yourself. I never fully understood this expression until about a year ago. Growing up I always did what was considered to be “acceptable”. Little did I know I was losing myself in the process. I was letting work, school, and extracurricular activities control my life. While I don’t regret one decision I’ve made, there are things that if I could go back and do a little differently I would. First of all, your high school reputation doesn’t define the rest of your life. I had many friends in high school but today only a handful of those I could still call friend. In college there are many many chances to make new friends and meet new people. Want to know something glorious about college? When you leave your hometown and venture to a new atmosphere, you get to CHOOSE who you want to be. You may love yourself already or you may not. But college is the chance to be who you want to be.

Second, it is 100% acceptable to be single. In today’s society, everyone feels pressured to be in a relationship and get married but it truly is okay to be single. Your girlfriends call and want to go out dancing, guess what? You’re probably free to go out with them and make incredible memories that’ll you will laugh about years down the road. You don’t have someone constantly checking in on you just to see “what’s up?” I do admit, it’s nice having someone there for you, but don’t make it your priority and let it drive you mad. That perfect relationship you’re looking for will come when the time is right.

And third, don’t be afraid to try something new. Invest yourself in multiple activities. Whether it’s a club, job, school work, personal time, or even having a social life. It’s important to find balance and stay active. If I would have stuck to the beaten path I’ve always taken I wouldn’t have found some of my closest friends that I have today! You never know what you might discover if you just take the chance and risk a little. To wrap this up the point I want to get across is: Find yourself. Grow within yourself. Make time for yourself. Learn to love yourself! Life is SO much better now that I’ve learned to love myself! Because I’ve learned to love myself and take risks I’ve discovered things about myself I never knew before. And overall, I’m a much happier person with MY life!

“You are confined only by the walls you build yourself.”

-Miranda Alumbaugh

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Why an Overwhelming Amount of Debt is Just Fine

Third year of college. It’s crazy to think it’s already been almost two and a half years since I first set foot on K-State’s campus. They always said high school would be the best time of your life, but I’m finding out that’s not necessarily true. These past two and a half years have flown by and I can only assume that’s because I’m having fun.
I came to K-State with one intention: Preparation for Veterinary School. I knew it’d be a lot of hard work (re: extremely hard work), but I thought, ‘It’s worth it.’ To this day, I still have no regrets on starting my undergraduate career at K-State in Animal Sciences and Industry, Pre-Veterinary Medicine. I originally had considered starting my undergraduate studies at a smaller Division Two college, but decided to take a big leap and come to school in a place I didn’t know. Things could have gone a lot differently, but for some reason I chose the route I am on today.
The first two years of college seemed difficult at the time, but looking back, I had no idea what difficult really was. This current semester has been tough. Sometimes I wonder how and why I keep pushing. It’s been hard to find a week this semester without an exam or two, and yet I study any given night of the week. While some of my friends are out having their version of “fun,” I’m having mine. Sure, studying isn’t exactly waving your arms in the air and screaming, “WOO,” but studying now is what is preparing me for my future, which will be fun because of the hard work I’m putting in at this moment.
As I’m getting into my more difficult years of college, questions from outsiders arise. “How will you do it?” “How is it worth it?” “Why MUST you study SO much?” “Have you thought about the amount of debt you’ll have after veterinary school is all said and done?” The final question is the one that tends to grab my mind lately.
Debt. Debt is many, many things. Good is not one of those things. For a Junior in college who already has a considerable amount of debt, debt is not something I am particularly excited about. Which is probably why this is a question that has been coming up often from people around me. “Why is debt okay?”
Let’s say I successfully conquer my last year and a half of undergraduate studies, have applied to veterinary schools across the country, and happen to be accepted to a veterinary school. Family, friends, and myself would be elated at this news. Veterinary school is something I’ve wanted a very long time. However, once this settles in for a few, reality shows her scowling face. Four more years of harsh exams, late nights, no income, and double the debt. For many people, this sounds like a lot of work for a lot of stress and a lot of “not worth it’s.”
Here is why this is all just fine to me: I have a passion. For a long time, I’ve had a passion to help animals and the many people surrounding them. I understand the struggles I will face will test me in more ways than one. However, it is because of this understanding that I believe I can power through to do what I love someday. School is hard, but it keeps me busy and for that, I love it. Earlier I said time was flying because I am having so much fun, then I discussed how rough of a semester I’m having. Sounds contradicting, but I actually am having the time of my life thanks to college. Having extremely busy weeks helps me to explore and do exciting things during the moments I have free time. I’ve learned to budget my time and make all of it count. College is something I am very grateful for and I look forward to hopefully spending at least six more years learning for the remainder of my undergraduate career and into veterinary school.
While studying instead of partying and increasing debt instead of getting paid may be difficult, I have learned there are no handouts in life. Sure, I may be paying off loans until I’m seventy years old, but to me, it’s worth it and I would do it a million times over if I had the chance. So if you have a passion, don’t be afraid to work for it. Don’t let things scare you away because if you don’t follow through with it, you’ll be spending your life wishing you did. Veterinary school may be a lot of things including increasing debt, but if you love something as much as I love the idea of helping other and animals, it is all truly worth it in order to do what you love in the end.

In Sisterhood,

Natalie Timmons
Rho Class
Sigma Alpha
Alpha Omega Chapter

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The Impact of Stress

The definition of stress is “ a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.” On average, most college students get 6-6.9 hours of sleep per night, and an insufficient number of hours of sleep per night may not only impact our moods and health but also GPA.

As college students we all have been accustomed to dealing with not going to sleep until the wee hours of the morning, but studies have proven that this does more harm than good. Lack of sleep can lead to a weakened immune system, increases weight gain and obesity, mental health issues, as well as the extremely important decreased academic performance. Stress in college students can affect the ability to concentrate and the brain is basically fighting against itself when the student is trying to get work done. So even though it may seem like a smarter idea to stay up late to prevent stressing out for the exam in the morning and getting some late minute cramming in, the simple solution to study better and more efficiently is to get between 6 and 8 hours of sleep a night. I promise you that your body and your grades will thank you for it later.

In Sisterhood,

Karin O’Leary

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Life Lessons Brought to You by Your College Roommates

“You’re annoying and stupid and no one can stand to be around you”. I will never forget what it felt like to stand in my own apartment with tears running down my face as my best friend turned worst enemy screamed this in my face. I’m sure you’re asking yourself “why would someone write an article like this with a statement like that?” Well truthfully, at one time, I couldn’t wait to live by myself and I though living with other would be the death of me but after moving from the dorms to an apartment to an adorable house on Hartford Street I can honestly say living with others has been the most amazing and important experience of my college career and this is why:

Living with Others Teaches You Who You Really Are

I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly of roommates. From settling roommate feuds as an RA to my own personal experiences, I have almost seen it all. Living with others is inevitably an emotional roller coaster. Whether you love or hate your roommates you will eventually reach that point where you show your true self.  When your roommates make you angry you will learn whether you’re the kind of person to cry, yell or even flush their toothbrush down the toilet in spite (yes I’ve seen this done). When you’ve had a rough week you will learn whether you are the type of person that needs roommates to vent to, needs a shoulder to cry on or if you’d rather just shut yourself in your room so they leave you alone to ignore the world. When you get that dream job or ace that test you will discover if you’re the type to run up and down the halls celebrating or if you would rather just buy yourself a cup of coffee and keep it to yourself. All these little things teach you more about yourself, how you handle difficult situations and the type of support system you need to get you through this crazy thing called life.

Bad Roommates Teach You to Create Your Own Happiness

Whether your roommates are messy, mean or staying up until 3am throwing parties every night so you can’t sleep, you probably weren’t a happy camper about any part of the situation. Screaming matches, tears and emotional breakdowns are often symptoms of living with bad roommates. But more likely than not, you wiped those tears off your face, you controlled your anger and you left the room to change the situation for yourself. Whether that meant moving into an apartment of your own, leaving the house for several hours or simply moving in with different people you had to make the decision to not allow others hurtful words or a bad situation ruin your life. You found people to support you through that rough patch of your life and you moved onto bigger and better things. While the hurt and anger probably still remains, not allowing a little hiccup ruin the standards you’ve set for yourself or the plans you’ve made for your future is one of the most important things you will take away from that bad experience. And not allowing others determine your happiness or your confidence in yourself is a priceless life lesson.

There’s Nothing Better than Finding Your People

It’s been a rough week. Around the “Hartford House” that usually means an abundance of fried food and an excessive amount of Grey’s Anatomy is about to follow. Whether it’s pilling one too many of us in the car to get Crunch Wraps from Taco Bell or hanging out in the back yard playing corn hole, the everyday shenanigans that have become our routine, will be the memories we look back on and cherish one day. Sure we all still have those appalling stories of the roommate that once ate the whole cake you baked for your best friend’s birthday, but what we will really remember will be the roommates that became our K-State Family. We’ll remember the 2 a.m. McDonalds runs, the trips to the Thrift Shop when we blared the song  Thrift Shop on our way and all the birthdays, tailgates, and coffee runs in between. We’ll remember and cherish the roommates that listened to our meltdowns, dealt with all our weird quirks, loved us through it all and taught us to love this crazy beautiful life.

–In Sisterhood

Megan Schuster

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Lessons from the Corn Field

The last two summers, I’ve had the pleasure of working at AgReliant Genetics in Mt. Hope, Kansas. Essentially, me and 25 other people ranging in ages from 14 to 60 got to hand pollinate corn for seed increase. I was initially drawn to it because I wanted to learn more about the genetics side of the agronomy industry. My first summer, I had so much fun that I decided to come back for more. That’s when my boss offered me a Group Leader position, so not only would I be helping with pollination, but also supervising a group of about 10 people. I was a little intimidated at first, but I ended up really enjoying it. Not only did I learn a lot about corn and its genetics, but I also learned a little bit about life. I wanted to share the lessons that I learned by describing some of the people I worked with this summer and how their unique personalities apply to me as a student in the College of Agriculture.

**Following characters inspired by real people I worked with this summer.**

Talkative Tyler – There’s always that one person that loves to talk to everyone about everything. Even though this can be annoying, it really is important. Its crucial to ask questions and communicate with your coworkers or classmates.

Tami Teamwork – Just like communication is important, it’s equally important to be able to work in a team. At some point in college or in our career we will have to work with others to accomplish some kind of common goal.

Paul Perseverance – This summer we had a couple older gentleman on our team. Even though certain tasks might have been more difficult for them, they always stuck it out and ended up becoming some of the best workers. That just shows you that if you stick with something even though it’s hard at times, it will pay off eventually.

Natalie Knowledge – My boss this summer loved to tell me random facts about what we were working on. Sometimes I just dismissed it, but other times he taught me something very interesting. I wasn’t looking for it, but I was always learning something new. We should always be eager and open to learning new things about our industry, even after we are out of college.

Tired Tanner – There was this one kid who I always found laying down in the middle of the corn field when we were supposed to be working. He just needed a break you know? Sometimes you just have to put your to-do list aside and take a break, whether that’s watching a Netflix episode, going on a walk, or taking a nap. It’s important to remember your needs even though you may feel overwhelmed with responsibilites.

Hyped Harold – I had a boy who walked around yelling “IT’S LIT” everywhere we went. Sometimes I just wanted him to shut it, but other times he made me laugh. Life gets stressful and you have to remember to lighten up every once in awhile. He reminded me that even though we were at work, I was allowed to have fun, too.

Group Momma – This is what my group members called me all summer. But really, I had to be their mom out in the field. I learned a lot about what it meant to be a leader and have people depend on you in a work environment. I had to call the shots, and sometimes I messed up, but I realized that that was okay. I will fail from time to time, but it will be alright. Being a leader means accepting that and doing the absolute best you can for the good of the group. My leadership skills greatly improved because of this position.

I am so glad that I had the opportunity to work for AgReliant again. No matter where life takes me, I will remember this summer for a very long time and everything it taught me. I’ve tried to take all of these lessons to heart and I hope you will, too.

In Sisterhood,

Alex Tuttle

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R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

 

Respect is the outcome of integrity and generosity of spirit in personal as well as public life. Both are important.

Respect of others is a critical measure of the significance of your own life. Have you noticed as people grow older, how important being respected becomes to them? As life plays itself out and the end seems near, the only things that seem important are love and a healthy regard by those who matter to us. Respect is a measure of a life well spent, a life that was useful to others.

Men had it easy in earlier times. Regardless of his position outside, a man was the king in his own home, with wife and children pandering to every wish, tiptoeing around him and creating a respectable aura for him. Remember how Grandma treated Grandpa? Or, how our parents barely spoke with their own Dads out of a respectful fear and a distant regard? Grandma made sure to create a respectful aura around the man of the house, and he reveled in that feeling of regard.

Such respectful pandering creates an aura around a person, which forces others to look at him in a new light, a rub off from the regard of others. Those men earned that respect merely by being the providers and protectors.  As roles diffused, the man’s aura diminished and he came to be treated as less God-like. Now he had to earn that respect by other means. Some accepted this easier than others.

Respect does have a ripple effect. You tend to respect those who are respected by others. And so, it becomes important to be respected by those immediately around you. Certainly there is a regard you gain by sheer dint of your position or your relationship to someone. But far more precious is the regard you earn through who you are, how you conduct yourself, and how you interact with others.

The first step towards gaining respect of others is to be able to respect your own self. The confidence and aura that a healthy self-respect gives is unmatchable. It serves as a magnet that attracts the regard of others. In order to respect yourself, you have to live and conduct life on your own terms, in a sincere and honest fashion. Understand what you value most, and then live by your values. Curiously, self-respect increases further when you see others respecting you for your qualities or contributions. And so it becomes a golden circle – self-respect arouses respect in others, which further enhances self-respect!

The second step is to respect others. When you do that, you attract respect back. Respecting another means to treat all as equals, make time for them, and appreciate them. It means lending an ear and letting them know they are important to you. Inculcate the belief that in some way everyone is better than you at something or the other. This nurtures humility, which is an attractive, respected quality.

Living by your values ensures that you are consistent and dependable. People appreciate dependability. It is a virtue that earns you a reputation like nothing else.  So, always keep your word and do what you promise if you wish to earn people’s respect. Say what you mean and do what you say.

Sticking to the truth no matter what the provocation or outcome is a laudable quality that earns you high regard from all. Always doing what is right earns you lasting respect. Don’t just do what is expected of you – everyone does that anyway. Step up to participate in causes you believe in, and to speak up for what is right.

Respect is the outcome of integrity and generosity of spirit in personal as well as public life. Both are important. One at the cost of the other exposes your underbelly and leads to loss of reputation. Inculcating a passion and pursuing excellence in public life, and ensuring a good character in personal life, are the keys to earning respect all round.  It is when you are above reproach in both that you gain lasting respect and love from those around you. Respect cannot be taken from someone you bully, it’s earned from a life-time of self-respect and integrity.

In Sisterhood,

Dandi Thomas.

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