The Hokie Superstars

Hey, guys!

Happy Summer!! Wherever this blog post finds you, I hope you are enjoying your time off and you are finally getting a minute or two to relax before the next school year!

A honest sidenote: If you are guessing that this blog post might be a little cheesy due to the title of it, “The Hokie Superstars”, you would be right.  It might get a little cheesy but I promise that it can relate to many different areas of life regardless of your age, place in life, etc!

Throughout my freshman year at VT I noticed that I always got one question about the school if I was talking to an adult or a high school student considering Virginia Tech.  That question is or is similar to, “Well, because your school has over 20,000 students undergrad, do you ever feel like a number or that you never recognize people or see friends as you walk around campus?”.

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I try to answer the question by explaining that even though Virginia Tech has a HUGE student body it doesn’t feel as large as it sounds because there are always people that you seem to have mutual friends with- there are always the people that stand out from the “crowd” as student leaders that seem to just, well, know everyone.  They serve as a connection piece for our thousands of students living in Blacksburg.  Virginia Tech’s “degrees of separation” are very, very small because of these people that I refer to as “The Hokie Superstars.”

These fabulous folks know the biggest and best organizations to get involved in from the get-go freshman year, they know how to distribute their time in between their classes and their extracurriculars, they are incredibly personable, they seem to run into 15 people they know every time they walk across campus, they represent living out Virginia Tech’s motto “Ut Prosim” so well,  and they make you extremely proud to say that you are a Hokie.

They seem to be the people that a lot of freshman, including myself, look up to and one day want to become.  Throughout my first year I honestly became obsessed (do I sound like a stalker yet?) with applying for the right clubs/organizations, meeting the right people, saying the right things so one day I could be at least half of what I saw in these particular student leaders.

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Last April as I was talking to one of the biggest mentors I have found through Virginia Tech, Justin Graves, I was telling him about how it seems like everyone strives to be one of these superstars- it seems to be a huge goal for people, especially for the people I had met through my dorm. I verbalized to him that I wanted to make a mark before graduating, to truly live out “Ut Prosim”, and it seemed like the only way to really do that was to work very hard to follow in the footsteps of these specific student leaders.

I distinctly remember that he glanced at me and said, “You can make a difference wherever you are, you don’t have to have certain items on your resume to make your mark and make a difference in this community.”

Since then I have been really mulling Justin’s words over.  I think working hard to become a friend to many, an inspiration for all, and leader for your community is hugely important- it is VITAL to have leaders that serve as a positive face for your community.  It is necessary to have leaders that stand out from the crowd and inspire others to do the same.

But- you CAN still make a difference and leave a mark without being in the front and center.  You can humbly serve those around you and be a shoulder for someone regardless of where you are, how leadership positions you have, or how many people you know while walking around campus.

I think Justin’s advice should be the new goal for all of us striving to be the best.  Instead of setting an expectation of being this idealistic version of ourselves by the time we graduate we should try to live out serving others and leading in small areas of our lives that we are in RIGHT NOW.  Apply for the organizations you TRULY care about.  Be friends with people because they push YOU to be better- not just because knowing them provides connections.  Love your fellow Hokies regardless of their status in the school. I believe that everything listed above, and Justin’s advice, is what will make you a leader in your community.

That is what making your mark is all about.  It’s about everyone living out life as a “Hokie Superstar” because if you “do what you can, with what you have, where you are” you are also a hugely vital part of your community. You are also 100% a Hokie Superstar.

I hope everyone enjoys this super hot Tuesday and considers what they can do, where they are!

Much Love,

Hadley Carter {happy hc}

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