I thought my orchid was dying

Jessica Chung

OrchidAnyone who knows me knows that I can’t be trusted with a plant.  Notoriously, plants wilt on my watch, which is why I thought getting an orchid would be a great idea.  I’ve been told that they are tough plants that need very little maintenance as long as I put an ice cube in it every week. It seemed easy enough, and they are absolutely beautiful, so I bought one for my apartment to give my room some life.

I was diligent.  I put my ice cube in each week (I think). It was placed carefully by a window that got a lot of that Instagram-worthy natural light.  Then, after two weeks, my fears were coming true: The flowers, one by one, begin to shrivel.

Worse, one by one, a flower would fall each week, tumbling from the stem to my (dusty) window sill. Continue reading “I thought my orchid was dying”

Life After Graduation and Transitioning Into the “Real” World

Ethan Brownell

Grads Throwing CapsIn less than 2 weeks I will be leaving the University of Minnesota, the Leadership Minor, and so many other communities I have been a part of these last 4 years. I feel a lot of expectations that come with this monumental step in my life. I have always been a high achieving student and I feel like people expect that to translate into a high achieving adult… instantly… like yesterday.

I am lucky enough to be in a place in my life where I feel comfortable with making the decision to take a gap year before applying to pursue graduate school. For the first time in my life I am letting life come to me rather than charging after life. I still don’t have plans for the next year; hell, I don’t have plans for three weeks from now. A key part of my identity for the last 17 years has been being a student. I don’t know who I am outside of school. Even when I am not in school, school has never been more than 3 months away. Continue reading “Life After Graduation and Transitioning Into the “Real” World”

Seasonal Cycles

Christine VeLure Roholt

unfurling-fernIn 2013, I was given a gift to experience a program called Powers of Leadership(POL) at the Whidbey Institute. POL brought people together from across diverse fields to reflect, strengthen and act on building a more just and sustainable world that allows all people to thrive in ways they identify. While I could write multiple blogs on my experiences, learning, cohort, the space, the ideas, the resistances, the challenges, the beauty, the work then and now I am doing because of it, I want to share one important aspect of the program.
Continue reading “Seasonal Cycles”

Why Safe Safe(r) Spaces Matter

Jason Jackson

Students Gathering

Lately there a have been a lot of critics that characterize college students who create and seek out safe(r) spaces on their campuses as, whiny students who can’t bare to hear or deal with opposing viewpoints. For instance, comedian Adam Corolla and radio host Dennis Prager are set to release a documentary that intends to mock the importance of these spaces on college campuses.

Safer or as some may refer to them as Brave Spaces are no laughing matter! Safe Spaces are intentional spaces where participants agree to have zero tolerance for microagressions, discrimination and violence; both verbal or physical. The underlying purpose of these spaces are for individuals to have the ability to learn and grow without the worrying about being attacked for their perspectives. Continue reading “Why Safe Safe(r) Spaces Matter”

Six Month Post-Grad Has Identity Crisis (Let’s not be dramatic)

Brittany Linman

Spiderweb“We’ll keep the conversation open, but before you do anything, think about why. Why do you want to get an MBA? What do you want to be when you grow up?”

This is the response my boss gave me when I told him that I saw myself moving out of state and going back to school part time. His questions reeled in my mind for days as I thought carefully about how to answer. They started to irritate me. He doesn’t think I know what I want. I know what I’m about, son! Surely, being a graduate of the leadership minor means that I have all the right answers, but in reality, my first attempt at coming up with a list of reasons why I wanted an MBA revealed how easy it is to slip back into old habits. Continue reading “Six Month Post-Grad Has Identity Crisis (Let’s not be dramatic)”

Let Your Mind Wander

Jerrius Jubran

Wooden pathway in the forestDo you ever let your mind wander? No set path, just letting yourself move from thought to thought? I like to do it every couple days to see where my mind takes me. Sometimes it’s sad and other times it’s happy but one thing is I am certain of is that Google Maps will not be there to help guide you. That is what is wonderful about letting your thoughts guide the conversation between your mind and inner self. It will tell you about what is happening because it will show you what is happening on the subconscious level. A good example of this is when a guy and girl have been friends for a long time and nothing romantically has happened because no one has let themselves think of the other person in that way. You just think it’s fun to hang out with them and do not see it for what it could be. It is not until you look inside and just let the mind wander that you figure that sort of stuff out. By letting your mind wander, you are bringing the unconscious into the conscious and thus, able to take notice of them. Once you notice them, you can act on them and turn that friendship into more, or if you are timid like me, just have a crush. Continue reading “Let Your Mind Wander”

You’re Invited!

Margaret Fix

An aspect of leadership that we focus on in the minor is the power of invitation. In the second class, we were offered an invitation by our instructors and we were given the chance to accept or decline it. By accepting it, we agreed and committed to participating in what the course had to offer. Peter Block explains invitation as, “the conversation for invitation is the decision to engage other citizens to be part of the possibility that we are committed to” (Block, 2008). As a leader, it is important to invite others to come on the journey with you. Invitations should be personal, offered without incentives, and genuine. Continue reading “You’re Invited!”

Optimism vs. Positivity

Anna Capeder

Recently, I had a revelational self-discovery.  I wanted to share this with others, in case it resonates with you, too!

If you know me, you know I am undoubtedly a positive person.  I look on the brightside, find the silver-lining in everything, and try to make others smile.  Therefore, when I took THIS quiz (originally published in “Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life” by Martin E. P. Seligman, Ph.D), I was astonished when the results indicated I was “very pessimistic” (I mean, I scored a NEGATIVE number!).   Continue reading “Optimism vs. Positivity”


We live in a world of comfort; a world where the word ‘ergonomic’ can be placed in front of an object and we’re automatically intrigued.

We live in a world where we work really hard to make things easier on ourselves. That sounds a bit silly. But yes, we put time and energy into figuring out how we can put less time and energy into things. Again, sounds silly. But yes, we want things quicker, more accessible, to charge faster, to be at our doorstep in hours, to be in rooms with optimal temperatures, to wear clothes that are impeccably matched to the current weather and we want them to look good too! Continue reading “Discomfort”

10 things I’ve Learned in my First Semester of College

Lauren Loeb

As I crawl through my first-ever finals week (famously called “death week,” “black week,” “7 days of no sleep,” the list goes on), I have consumed more coffee within the past two weeks than I have in my life. And I don’t even like coffee. Continue reading “10 things I’ve Learned in my First Semester of College”