Leadership Safari is a program that Central Michigan University organizes to help freshman and transfer students with the transition to college in the fall. It allows freshmen to move in a week and a half prior to the start of classes. Safari is the only thing like its kind in the country. In the fall of 2014, there were more Leadership Safari participants than ever before. I had heard from friends that it is an awesome experience that I shouldn’t miss. So I signed up. When I asked what exactly it was they would reply with “It’s hard to explain. You just have to go.” Therefore going into safari on the first day I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. When the day came to finally move in, I wasn’t nervous at all. That was until my parents left. As soon as they left he reality of living on my own, almost three hours from home kicked in. Thankfully, that night leadership safari started and took all those nervous away. My leadership safari guide, Sarah Johnson, played a big role in making me feel comfortable my first week at CMU. She made sure that I knew that she was available to me if I had any question regarding anything college.
Leadership Safari itself was really fun. It allowed me to meet many new people and become comfortable with the campus before classes actually started. My favorite part safari was assisting in the assembly of over thousands of food packages for those in need in the Mt. Pleasant area.However, personally, I did not learn many new things. Prior to attending Leadership Safari I had attended many state wide Leadership Conferences. Many of the activities that we had done at safari I had already previously done. Because I had already done them, my safari guide asked me to step back and allow the other students to figure out how to complete the activity. Yet, I did benefit this. Observing students who had never participated in anything similar to what we were doing was a learning experience for me. It allowed me to observe from the outside which presented a whole new perspective on the challenge. My safari group had also completed the activities different than I had previously seen when also opened my eyes. Prior to seeing them complete the activity, I had thought there was only one way to complete the challenge.
Talking to friends during and after Leadership Safari, I had discovered that many of these students loved it. To this day, some of their best friends are the people that were in their leadership safari group in August. Although, I did not greatly benefit from Leadership safari, I know that a great number of the participants were benefited by this experience.
I benefited the most from leadership safari by observing the other students grow from this experience. Being a Leadership Advancement Scholar, Leadership is a passion to me, and seeing other students realize that leadership is something that is very prevent in day to day life made me very happy. After this experience, I would love to be a Leadership Safari guide myself. I would love to be able to teach others how important leadership is in day to day life as well as being a resource to new students not only during their first week at CMU but throughout their whole time at CMU.