Ahnalies Vannette, a senior majoring in health services administration, was once a shy individual who only spoke when needed and kept her thoughts to herself. When Vannette moved to Auburn in 2014 to live out her college career, she was nervous to make new friends.
"I came to Auburn not knowing a soul. I knew I would eventually make friends but I didn't know how." Vannette said.
Vannette became involved in two important organizations her freshman year such as a social sorority and the Freshman Leadership Program. Auburn’s Freshman Leadership Program seeks to instill the value of leadership in first-year students by focusing on individual development and team building.
Vannette explained the leadership program and the sorority were the keys to her creating friendships.
"Although I didn't know anyone in either organization, there were many team building events that we had to go too. Each one we had, I made one more friend." Vannette said.
Vannette went on to explain how she felt more confident with each friend she made.
"I just started to realize that everyone is pretty much the same in the way that we all want to be accepted. I started speaking up more, and volunteering first for certain things," Vannette explained.
Vannette continued to grow her friendships and seek opportunities to become involved throughout her freshman and sophomore year. Her junior year is when she decided to run for her social sorority's president.
“I was definitely nervous, but it was something I wanted to do. I decided to step out on a branch and run for it,” Vannette said.
When asked why she wanted to run for her social sorority's president, Vannette explained, "I wanted the responsibility of making every person feel accepted. To know your accepted helps grow confidence. We all deserve to have that confidence."
We can all learn something from Vannette’s story. Whether you’re coming to college not knowing a soul or a little reserved, getting involved should be the first step you take. Vannette has a giving and
accepting heart, and we could all benefit from being more like her.
Vannette was elected president of her social sorority in November of 2016
Vannette was elected president of her social sorority in November of 2016.