Student-to-Student: December

Y’all (I been using that a lot lately) – we are so close to the end of the year! I would first like to give a big congratulations to each and every single one of you. You have worked so hard, and it is all going to pay off. The holidays are right around the corner, so stay strong. 

Not gonna lie, this year has been a heck of a year for me. If you would have told me, one year ago, that I was going to be where I am at – writing this in my dorm at the University of North Carolina, I would have laughed in your face. For many of you seniors, I understand all of the emotions you might be feeling right now. Many of you have turned in your college applications, and even got a few more left to do. Honestly, it was one of the most stressful times in my life. So many essays, so little time, and all of the time I spent thinking, “HOW CAN I SAY EVERYTHING THAT I WANT TO SAY IN LESS THAN 100 WORDS.” Let me assure you through, it is all going to be worth it in the end.

For as much fun as this year has been for me, being able to experience my senior year with some of the best people I know, heading down to college, and experiencing a brand new culture, it has also been one of the hardest years of my life. I experienced loss greater than I could have ever imagined, and I am feeling the effects of it every single day. It’s tough.

Reading Maya’s last blog, “Student to Student”, really reminded me of something I have continuously told myself; some of the hardest times, bring out some of the most beautiful moments. For one of the first times in my life, I finally recognized that I needed supported. I needed the people I love the most – my friends and family – with me, and they showed up and showed out. They have continued to take care of me in any way that they can for the last few months too. That is why I love them with all of my heart. 

What my friends and family did for me, was “servant leadership.” This is defined as, “a leadership philosophy in which the main goal of the leader is to serve.” They went out of their way to make sure I was doing okay, because I really wasn’t. Never once did any single person ever expect a “thank you” from me either, because they knew even that would be hard for me. Nonetheless though, every single action that came out of my family and friends during that time, and even now – was from their heart. Even miles away, they went out of their way, and showed me that they were there for me, even if they couldn’t be physically. They helped teach me what servant leadership was and I couldn’t be more grateful for it.

So, during this holiday season – I encourage you to give back. Give back to the people that have been there for you, or the people in your life that you think may need it. Take this idea of servant leadership, and implement it in your own lives. I can assure you; it will mean so much to the people around you. It did to me. Happy Holidays and keep thriving MAHS/MASC. 

Your friend,
Matthew Wood