Turning Your Vision into Reality
We have all been there. It seems like you finally have a chance to breathe. You take a second — which actually turns into a few weeks — and all of a sudden, it is time to start preparing events for the next year. You start planning for your council or chapter programs and booking those rooms on campus months in advance. You are probably finalizing intake paperwork, preparing for recruitment in just a few short weeks, and sending out half a dozen emails a day in attempt to communicate throughout the summer. It seems like school will start any day, and you still have a to-do list of a dozen projects to accomplish within a few weeks. It may feel like you are in over your head and struggling to get back on track — or even find the right track. But, don’t give up! It is not too late to realize your vision.
Create a Plan
Often the most difficult aspect of the planning process is determining where to begin. What needs to be accomplished and in what order? Is there an order? Take a moment, breath, and outline the process. Make a list of what you are envisioning. It may seem basic, but ask yourself the following questions:
Who am I trying to impact? Who should be involved? Who should I contact? Who can provide resources?
What is the event? What am I trying to do?
Where is the best location for this event? Is this location accessible? Where are my options?
When is the ideal time for this event? Are there other programs or events during this time? When will I have the highest participation?
Why this event? Is this event adding value to the experience?
It is important to start with the basics, outline your thoughts, and even take a second to reflect with others. Bounce a few ideas back and forth.
It is likely a program or event similar to yours has been completed before at a different institution or is even in the works on your campus. Reach out to other departments, offices, chapters, or councils for collaborations. Not only will this assist with planning, implementation, and resources but also reaching a larger crowd. Are there other organizations on your campus that reach similar populations? Is there a department or office that can lead or facilitate a conversation? By incorporating multiple groups you create the opportunity to create developmental relationships and experiences.
It is often stressful to plan an event alone. Ask for help! It is okay and expected. It not does make you unprepared or underqualified. It is much better to be proactive rather than reactive when you identify that help is necessary. If possible, be sure that you are delegating to your team and communicating your perspective and vision to those you are working with. Poor communication creates unnecessary barriers within all relationships, so be sure to be clear and understanding to those you are working with.
With structured planning, communication, and action your vision can become a reality!
Brittany Butler serves as a Coordinator in the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life at the University of Missouri. She is an alumna of East Carolina University and Mississippi State University. She is a proud alumna of Kappa Delta Sorority.