When I applied to be WILL’s Social Chair for the semester, I was excited about coming up with activities for the whole General Body and bringing together our members in order to share the sense of community that I feel in WILL. So when I was told I had to organize and host the Annual Winter Gala, I was ecstatic, but also nervous.
Since the beginning of this semester, in E-Board Meetings, I was always asked to keep in mind the Gala and to come up with ideas for it little by little, and to get all food orders and equipment reservations done in a timely manner. However, I had no previous experience organizing, much less one of this magnitude and with all the procedures that Loyola requires. I didn’t know how to get orders submitted for the catering and had no idea how to come up with a budget that wouldn’t empty our funds. As the semester went on, and October came, I was asked to get all orders in place in order to avoid problems on the day of the event. Inside, I was so scared to do something wrong and disappoint my whole team.
Nevertheless, my team, my first E-Board, are the greatest people, and I was constantly supported and helped by all of the members in preparation for the Gala. Our Treasurer and friend, Amy, had helped me get all things done with SAGA and Aramark so I didn’t have to worry about my budget not being approved or my orders being cancelled. Our Co-Presidents, Kira & Maggie, were behind the process since the beginning, and constantly checked in with me to see if there was anything that I needed from them. Maggie and Maanasa, our Community Outreach Liaison, helped me reach out to our prospective performers, as I had little connections with artists on campus. And the whole E-Board helped me set up on the night of the event for it to look as beautiful as everyone present deserved.
The days before the event, everything was ready. I had gotten all the decorations I needed (with the help of my mom), the food had been ordered and the equipment checked out (shoutout to Amy for helping with both), the performers had all confirmed and had kept in touch with me for the logistics of their performances, and everybody in our E-Board was aware of what they needed to do on that evening. However, I was still nervous that I would mess up, that the event would end up being a fiasco. More than anything, I was afraid no one would come, that I hadn’t attracted the attention of enough attendees. I was so nervous, and I was hoping for the worst.
To my surprise, the event was a success! Everybody loved the performances and commented on the decorations. There was barely any food left at the end of the evening, and everyone had commented on how fun the event had been. I was relieved that something I had come up with had worked. However, I know that nothing of this would have happened without all the help of the current and the new WILL e-boards, who not only helped me set up that night, but also gave me moral support and helped me all along the organizing process. I would say this was a really good learning experience for me, one that will help me now that I am Education Chair for WILL. I will now think about others, especially my Committee, when preparing presentations on a weekly basis and creating good content for our organization, and won’t hesitate to ask help whenever I need it. Because Rome wasn’t built overnight, and it wasn’t only built by one person either.