Note to Self

Dana Finley - Delta Chapter, Boston University
Dana Finley – Delta Chapter, Boston University

As I write this blog post, I am sitting in my apartment in Myrtle Beach, beginning to contemplate the next four days–days in which I will pack up all my belongings and move back to Ohio for a few months until the next leg of my leadership consultant adventure begins (this time, as a Senior LC!).

It will not surprise anybody who knows me that I have already made several lists to prepare for this move–emails to finish, boxes to pack, people to say goodbye to. But over the last few weeks another list has been quietly accumulating itself in my head–all of the things that I have learned about myself, about Sigma Kappa, and about life since I accepted this role last April.

In the last year, my entire life has been turned upside down. I moved from Massachusetts to Ohio and then from Ohio to South Carolina in the course of a few months. I said some goodbyes to people who no longer fit in my life and said hello to a new home at Coastal Carolina University within a chapter of 130+ collegiate women. I bought my first car. I worked on three colonizations, one installation, and traveled from one coast to the other visiting Sigma Kappas. I made a new family out of the 16 other leadership consultants and learned how to communicate with my biological family when we are spread across three states. I got stuck in one tropical storm, one snowstorm, and missed a few flight connections along the way. I laughed, I cried, and sometimes I laughed and cried at the same time.

So in the last few weeks, that quiet list in the back of my head has become a note to myself–a note that I can look at and remind myself how far I have come, how much I have accomplished, and how much is still left in front of me to experience.


Saying “no” is a complete sentence.

Sometimes you want a kale salad. And sometimes you need a Cookout tray with a cheeseburger, hush puppies, onion rings and a milkshake. You don’t have to fit into one category or the other.

Trust your gut. It’s usually correct.

You can love someone with all your heart and they can still not be the right person for you–and that’s okay. It’s also okay to still miss them sometimes.

Don’t be mean to the airline employee, it’s (usually) not their fault. Instead, try to be the one kind person that they remember after a hard day at work. This logic also applies to pretty much all customer service representatives.

Try not to say “sorry” so much for things you shouldn’t be sorry for at all.

We don’t always get what we ask for, but we will often get exactly what we need.

It is still totally socially acceptable to sleep with a stuffed animal (or four…) when you are 23.

Say please and thank you. Tell people you appreciate them, that they are important to you, that they have made a difference in your life. These are the things that you will never look back and regret saying.

Golden retrievers > boyfriends.

When in doubt, the jean jacket and statement necklace are always the answer to any outfit dilemmas.

When someone shows you who they are, believe them.

TSA Precheck saves lives (right up there next to coffee).

Do one thing a day that scares you, and relish the feeling of triumph that comes after you realize that you are still alive after. Realize that you deserve to feel that way more often.

Most of all, believe that the best is always ahead of you, that the people put beside you are there for a reason, and that this moment is meant to be enjoyed. I am so blessed by my last 365 days, and I look forward to what year #2 holds for me!

Until next time,


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1 comment

  1. These are wise words from a 23 year old. I’m 51 and just learned some of these in the last few years (and it’s OK to sleep with your teddy bear after 23 ☺️).

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