On the first night of the RUamped conference, walking into a room filled with a bunch of students who didn’t know each other, I never would have expected to walk out the next day feeling really great and having created awesome relationships with a ton of new people.
The first night’s activities were only warm up for what part two of the conference had in store for us student leaders. We warmed up to each other with some icebreaker games, making it feel like leadership camp, which I guess it kind of was. The keynote speaker was really impressive. It was amazing to see how a genre of music could really instill hope into someone’s life and lead them on a completely different life path.
Overall, day one was a success, and very relaxed compared to day two. Day two was intense and emotional, but also a really good experience.
In four presentations, we learned about how not to use digital media (basically a reminder to not put party pictures on Facebook), we learned how to work together with people who’s personalities may clash, about the importance of diversity, and understanding that there is a lot more to every person than meets the eye.
For me, the biggest thing that I gained was a connection to new people. In the Breakthrough presentation, you could literally feel tension and emotions floating in the room. It was a crazy experience. People were getting deep with each other, and we talked about things that normally we wouldn’t want to share with the general public. We all stepped outside of our comfort zones, and at first it was hard, but an amazing change was felt afterwards. We were all connected to each other because we then were able to understand that everyone has an untold story that has affected their life.
After RUamped, I feel inspired to become a better and stronger leader, and really understand the quote “There is no one you can’t love after you’ve heard their story.” Those just might be the truest words ever spoken, and words that everyone should learn to understand.