Dear Incoming Executive Officers,
Now that the dust has settled, I have fully transitioned my successor, and I have finally managed to pick up the fragments of my life, I’ve had time to reflect upon the past year as a member of the executive board. I would like to offer you some words of wisdom that very few will dare to explain, but that I feel are necessary to know before you embark on the ultimate journey of becoming an exec member.
There Will Be Division On Your Executive Board
Being on e-board is all about working as a team. However, you will find that not everyone plays nice 100% of the time. Typically, the board will split into two groups: the “perfectionists” and the “I-am-here-to-do-my-jobists.” The perfectionists love to be in complete control of every situation. They are typically the ones who might go insane if even one form isn’t turned in 24 hours before its due date. They cringe at the idea of any one of their fellow executive members breaking a rule or stepping out of line, and are prone to frequent breakdowns. On the other hand, the “I-am-here-to-do-my-jobists” are less interested in the drama and more interested in completing their duties. They are more laid back, or so they appear to be. When the stress gets them, though, they struggle to deal with it, and can get a little irrational. Be warned: you will all get crazy, but you’ve got to appear to have your shit together. Present yourselves as a cohesive board, even when you’re butting heads on everything. It’s all a part of the process.
You Will Regularly Contemplate Harming Yourself Or Others
I don’t typically have suicidal thoughts or sociopathic tendencies. However, during the first month of my exec term, I had to be physically restrained from giving the philanthropy chair a black eye (not that she ever knew it). I was often tempted to scream at troublesome new members, and *gasp* even deactivate after several passive aggressive, bitchy text messages and tweets from active members. They’re going to bitch; you can not. You can feel free to throw your iPhone, complete with a pink Swarovski crystal case, against the wall in rage when someone on your committee doesn’t do her job, but you can’t get full-on banshee at chapter. You’re going to feel irrational and crazy, but it’s okay. Your boyfriend may think you’re insane for crying over one seemingly unimportant form you turned in late, but you’re not. Being a part of your executive board is stressful at times but, it is the most rewarding experience and you will learn a lot about being a strong team member and successful leader. You will also learn a thing or two about saying “no” to the bitchy senior, or how to give the perfect passive aggressive smile…you know, basic leadership skills. When the stress seems to be too much, pop a Xanax (I mean, if you’re into that) and pour yourself an extra glass of wine. You’ll get through it.
You Will Build Strong And Lasting Friendships
Despite the stress, confusion, and outright chaos that e-board can bring, you will form some strong friendships along the way. Without my time as an executive officer, I would have never had the opportunity to work with such amazing girls who have cheered me up during particularly frustrating days and who I can trust to give me the most honest advice in a tough situation. So don’t be afraid to lean on your fellow members when you’re secretly freaking out about the amount of things you have to do before bid day. The members on my committee might not have always agreed on everything, but after the year that we had, I know that I can trust them and confide in them with anything.
So, with that I say, good riddance to my former position. I mean, good luck.