TRU hosts LEADership Conference 2019: Lead to Change

Students learned the different aspects of being a leader and how they can improve their own skills

Lead to Change was the take-home message from this year’s LEADership Conference which was held in the International Building on campus on Sept. 28.

The day-long event featured a host of speakers from TRU and the local community who explored the different aspects of leadership through the acronym LEAD: Learn, Emerge, Amplify and Develop.

Students learnt how to take advantage of their strengths and skillsets, overcome adversities and make the most out of their mistakes.

Those in attendance were also enlightened by presentations made by established community leaders who spoke about the importance of perseverance and resilience.

“Mapping Your Leadership Journey,” was just one of the afternoon sessions hosted by Payton Comazzetto, the organizer of Brennan’s Ugly Sweater Run, a charity event she founded in memory of her brother who was hit and killed by an impaired driver.

Describing journal mapping as a “thought-provoking, one of a kind technique,” she asserted that the primary goal of the exercise is to help people identify what is meaningful to them as they undergo their leadership journey.

“It’s really narrowing down what’s important, what your core values are (and) where your strengths and weaknesses are,” she explained.

“By mapping it all out, you really get to see visually what you’ve done and where you want to go and you get some direction.”

Comazzetto also said that journey mapping is an ideal tool to use for research because it gets people thinking.

“Mostly getting it on paper, getting it visual, you start to realize all the things that you’ve done and all the things that have shaped you along the way,” she stated. “You really start to feel that sense of direction in where you want to go.”

The conference also featured a Develop Workshop Series which included a presentation on self-care presented by TRU’s Student Wellness Centre Team.

In this particular segment, Student Wellness Ambassadors Rohan Sharma and Lauren Christie defined the practice of self-care and presented techniques students could use to overcome weak spots and improve their overall health and well-being.

Explaining that self-care “encompasses” physical, mental and emotional health, Sharma told students that it was very important for them to try to maintain a balanced diet, get an appropriate amount of rest and make time to socialize with friends.

“Those are just a few things that we can work on that can help us be better and take care of ourselves,” he said.

Christie, Sharma’s partner for the presentation, also gave statistics from The National College Health Assessment which found out how students “felt about life in general.”

“Something that happens a lot is students think: ‘No one can understand what I’m going through, no one understands how much stress I’m under. I feel like no one else is like me,’” she stated.

“It happens all the time, everyone says they feel isolated and alone.”

Christie added that the assessment’s latest findings, drawn from a survey conducted last winter, revealed that 87 percent of TRU students felt “overwhelmed by what they had to do on a day-to-day basis.”

The pair recommended exercising and listening to music as great ways to take a mental break and insisted that self-care is imperative to a relatively stress-free life.

Overall, this year’s leadership conference turned out to be a major success and left students with a wealth of knowledge on what it truly means to be a leader, as well as a new perspective on how they can apply those skills to their lives to be successful.