By Anika Chowdhury
On August 21, I was one of 41 Molloy students who embarked on a trip to Princeton, New Jersey, to spend three days at the Chauncey Conference Center. This trip, sponsored by the Office of Student Affairs, was the first step to a life of leadership. It was an amazing opportunity.
The three days were characterized by early mornings, gorgeous views, five-star meals, and bucket loads of fun. We took part in various icebreakers and activities to get to know one another, and even played a kickball game, while learning about important life skills such as public speaking, tips for academic success, and getting involved on campus. Some of the activities brought out the best parts of us, and even helped some of the shyer people emerge out of their shells. It was so beautiful to see. It was incredible to be able to form such strong bonds with people I didn’t know a week ago, and I can easily say August 21 to August 23 were the best three days of my life.
Getting to know the freshmen on the trip was by far the best part of the experience. I watched them make their first college friends right before my eyes, and saw them build relationships and develop skills that will resonate throughout their lives. They learned from the workshops that Eryn Hornung, Janine Payton, Bob Houlihan, and Brendan Caputo in Student Affairs put together; and then they came forward and asked the upperclassmen about our experiences. They asked us about clubs, work-study, and professors, and they inquired about their majors with wide eyes. During every conversation I had with them, I found myself laughing so hard, my stomach hurt. They surprised us all, and I cannot wait to see what they bring to campus come this fall.
The Leadership Conference was a bonding experience for all who attended. We roomed with someone we probably weren’t familiar with, and we were in a conference room for multiple hours a day with people we didn’t know beforehand. The craziest part is that at the end of it, I knew everybody and I considered each one of them a friend. It was a great way for us to mix and mingle not only with people who have been going to Molloy, but the incoming freshmen who we didn’t know yet. We not only brought home pictures and smiles, we brought home memories that will last a lifetime.
Images courtesy of Anika Chowdhury.