When I arrived at CU freshman year, I stuck to my dorm room, exiting only for classes, eating, and laundry. Joining The Herd Leadership Council, a group of 20 students who plan events and encourage students to celebrate school spirit, changed my life.
The Herd is the student arm of the Alumni Association. It is one of the few campus groups that provide students with free gear, discounts around Boulder and networking between alumni and students-all for an unbelievably low-cost membership. I have coordinated The Herd's two largest events, The Nearly Naked Mile and CU Idol, developing key leadership skills. Duties have included scheduling space, talking with police and campus staff, as well as marketing and creating themed t-shirts for Herd members. I have worked efficiently to delegate tasks, stay organized and remain on schedule. In doing so, I found my new niche.
This year marks my second year as Herd president. Before I joined The Herd, I never imagined myself as a leader nor a valuable team member. I saw myself as reserved and figured my ideas weren't important enough to say out loud. The Herd helped me discover the true extrovert I am. College is supposed to be about new experiences, challenges, failures and successes. CU-Boulder has offered me all of this.
What I will take away from this chapter of my life is that no matter how many people discourage you from chasing your dreams, pursue them with more enthusiasm. No matter how many times you fail, trying again brings you one step closer to success. And no matter who you believe you are when you enter college, you will most likely leave changed forever-and hopefully for the better.
- Marni Spott, who graduated in May 2012 with a BA in international affairs and German and a master's in German. She dreams of starting a nongovernmental organization in South Africa.
Have a student who would like to get involved with The Herd?
Learn more at www.cuherd.org.