The other night, I spoke at the Tri- County Aggie Moms Meeting. I was excited to have this opportunity as in high school I competed at numerous public speaking contests and ever since I got to college I have had no reason to speak besides the occasional project presentation (not even sure if that counts). Anyways, I prepared my speech, practiced, arrived at the meeting, and was greeted by the most receptive crowd…..a room full of moms, Aggie Moms to be more specific. I believe I could have stood up there and not said two words and they still would have clapped. Gotta love moms.
However, besides the typical adrenaline rush during the speech and the “feel good” emotion that follows a speech when you get a round of applause I came to the realization that I was no longer speaking for an award and telling people what they wanted to hear nor was it a script that someone else had prepared. I was telling these moms what they needed to hear and from firsthand experience.
The general theme of my speech was finding an internship and what I learned from it. However, I didn’t just jump into how great of an experience it was and how everyone should do an internship and how once you complete your internship that magically qualifies you as on your way to a “bright future”.
Instead I thought about who I would be speaking to, Moms, who whether they admit it or not think about their children away in college 24/7. So I began back at the first semester of college when I along with most other freshman thought that college just wasn’t for me, the struggle of adapting to a new “independently-dependent” lifestyle, and that I failed my first college test ever. I saw the nods the in the room from the “veteran” college moms and the face of relief from the “new-to-college” moms. I then progressed to talking about getting involved and how creating a network of peers is so valuable before diving into the actual internship. I wanted to stress how it is all a process and your child is not the only one that can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. I was there.
Then the fun part began. I was able to show that we all grow up, figure it out, and march towards building our future. It was the most rewarding feeling to have middle age women taking notes on what a twenty year old was saying. I shared the different avenues I went through when finding an internship and the value in doing an internship. My goal was not to make moms stop worrying about their children, but to reassure them that it’s all a process and they are not the only ones feeling the stress when their kids go off to college. My second goal was to inspire these moms to inspire their children to step out of their comfort zone and take a proactive approach in making the most of their time in college and laying a solid foundation for their future. Judging by the nods in the room and feedback after the meeting I feel like I met these two goals.