Vanessa Burnam | July 31, 2015
Our summer intern Vanessa Burnam is about to embark on her college career at Florida Gulf Coast University. When we found out she was invited to experience a leadership retreat designed for freshman at the school, we asked she share her experiences…
A few weekends ago, I had the incredible opportunity to attend Florida Gulf Coast University’s (FGCU) 4th Annual Frosh Mosh Leadership Retreat. This was a weekend hosted by the Office of Multicultural Leadership Development. Forty-four incoming freshman “leaders” were selected from over 700 applicants. It was such an honor to spend the weekend with such inspiring and intelligent fellow students.
Throughout the weekend, we not only had a blast (can you say “ice cream social, skit competition, talent show, and more”), we were also tested and learned how to use our individual personalities skillfully in leadership roles. More importantly, we learned how to welcome diversity into our lives as we enter college. We also heard amazing advice from true student leaders on FGCU’s campus, ranging from student government to Greek life.
We were even challenged in the Fort Myer’s Saturday morning heat with low ropes challenges, an activity that allowed us to get comfortable with one other. We bonded as we wrote anonymous compliments on a piece of paper and then taped them to the person’s back and shared bittersweet emotions as we hugged goodbye at the closing banquet.
I have never before experienced the feeling of becoming so attached to a group of people in a span of three days. FGCU is swarming with ways for students to stand out on campus. I have made friends I will have for the rest of my college career and, I believe, a lifetime.
When you’re researching schools, be sure to look for ones that encourage diversity, fellowship, and fun. I know now from this retreat that FGCU is the best decision I made in choosing a higher-level education. Good luck on your college applications and, if you’re a lover of sunshine, academic excellence, and ambition, consider adding FGCU onto your application list (they are rolling!) Oh, and one last thing… go Eagles! ☺