Southwestern Advantage has had quite the impact on my life. Sometimes it’s incredibly easy for me to forget just how much of an impact. Recently, I was asked by a good friend of mine to make a list of what exactly I felt like I got out of SWA; what I brought home with me, and why I made the decision to come back. For someone who had gotten so much out of the program, it was relatively easy for me to come up with 5 main things I took away from my summer internship.
1. I now know my attitude is a choice. There are 2 ways to look at every situation I find myself in and I can choose to be happy. My circumstances have no power over my life.
Maybe this is common sense to most people, but before SWA I totally let what was happening to me affect my mood and the rest of my day. Coming home from a SWA Summer, old habits die hard, which makes me even more excited for a second summer. I want these success principles to be embedded into my habits so deeply that I don’t call them habits anymore. They’re just a way of life.
2. I have come to know the power of a prayer. Sometimes that’s all someone needs: a random prayer, from someone random who cares. I got to be that person for people last summer.
Being raised a Christian, I’ve always known who God is. People speak of the mighty things He’s able to do through them, to be His hands and feet. That’s all I really wanted to do last summer. I didn’t care how many books I sold. I wanted to bless people with my smile and who I am. That was my mindset, so that’s what I did. Being able to see people for who they are and where they’re at is truly eye opening and life changing if you let it be.
3. I had the opportunity to meet some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met in my life. I walked away with best friends that I am positive will last a lifetime. Some of which will be in my wedding someday. In life, friends come and go. Some of the people I’ve met through selling books door-to-door, however, I could never imagine my life without now. The amount of respect, loyalty, and love I feel towards some of the other students I met last summer is an exponential amount for it grows week to week as we still grow with each other in life challenges together.
4. I met myself for the first time. Wholly, truly, with no one around…who I am. I was exposed to my habits and my thought processes about myself that I didn’t even know I had, and that I hated. I got to meet Jayme Kaiser for who she really is, flaws and all. That person is someone I am proud to be, actually, but I know I have a lot left to learn and room to grow.
I am continuously being shaped into the person I am someday going to be. The one thing I remain proud of day in and day out is my integrity. I didn’t realize I had so much, but selling books showed me I really am someone to be proud of. I walked away from my first summer with no regrets. I told myself all summer long that it didn’t matter how people treated me, I would treat them right in return. That’s what I did and that’s what I remember from my summer. No matter how badly anyone treated me, I treated them kindly, and that’s not an easy task when you’re in a trying moment. I also realized some of the things I think about myself aren’t productive, or healthy. This past summer, I learned that my words are powerful. Some of the most important things I will ever hear….are the things I tell myself.
4 ½. …Slightly similar to number 4 is just that I had a true chance to test myself, to encounter the unknown that I’ve feared for so long and conclude that I CAN. I can succeed. I can make it on my own. I don’t need to be scared of my potential because the only thing that can possibly hold me back in this life is myself. I have no boundaries.
5. Last, but certainly not least, is where I’m going now.
Being selected back as a Student Leader with Southwestern Advantage has given me the opportunity to impact my friends, to change their lives, and to introduce them to the whole Southwestern experience. I was shown last summer that my life is mine, and I can overcome anything I set my mind to. Not very many Americans know that, and to be able to introduce that idea to the people that surround me and are closest to my heart, my family and friends, is such a blessing in itself. I have the chance to help my friends shape themselves into the people they WANT to be, not what society tells them they should be. How cool is that?
Connect with Jayme’s Facebook business page: FB.com/Jayme.TheBookGirl.Kaiser
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