2018 Becca —
If there’s one thing I wish I could tell you, it’s this: take time, as often as you can, to look around, acknowledge the people in your orbit, and realize that you have a tremendous opportunity to positively impact them.
I know you don’t like the idea of being “a leader,” but trust me, you have yet to realize the capacity you have for it. Before I continue, please don’t feel pressured to act immediately (which you are apt to do). You don't have “to lead” in the way you might think. Instead, think of the next 4 years (which will become 5… don’t bother asking why) as a chance to practice a few things:
Shutting up — You talk a lot, and that’s okay, but you don't always have to be the loudest or most dominant person in the room to be a leader. Sometimes you just need to listen and show empathy, respect, and integrity.
Screwing up — Make mistakes often and ask for help or advice even more. The ability to humbly acknowledge that you are not invincible is a strength, not weakness.
Stewardship —Unfortunately, you’ll soon realize that you are not in control. You are going to be faced with incredible triumph, but also shocking defeat, heartbreak, and loss. I can’t prepare you for or shield you from any of it, but I can tell you it will come — and then it will come again. This time is precious and largely not your own so look after it as such: with care, responsibility, and respect.