Handling Stress as a Team By Olivia Taitt

—–LDP is an amazing program. It puts students through so many challenges, spurring growth that couldn’t happen in a normal college lifestyle. Of course, all this progress couldn’t happen without occasional heaps of stress and pressure. We are all high achievers who take on so much. For example, on top of LDP, Nate is in his junior year of mechanical engineering and serving as the president of Baja and a senator in USG. Jim is studying automotive technology, is in Automotive Ambassadors, conducting the Robinson Engine Design Research Project, and is a member of ATO where he serves as the Del Sol project lead of a team of over 20 people. Jessica works as a tutor and TA, is active in her church, serves as the president of SSA, and is chewing away at her pre-med studies. Needless to say, we are all stressed.

—–LDP has an uplifting culture and we always look out for one another. Our team members are the first people we turn to when we need help; often, help is offered before we even have to ask. When our tests and projects all hit in the same week, members are quick to pick up tasks from other teammates, knowing it will be reciprocated in the future. For example, while Sudd was cramming to finish his research and thesis, the team assured he wasn’t given any excess work. We celebrated when he passed his defense, and Diogo recognized Sudd’s achievement and dedication during a Thursday morning meeting. When Connor decided to run for USG President, we rallied behind him, watching his debate, advertising, chalking his name around campus, and helping to mentor him when needed.

     When people are stressed or finally overcome a huge challenge, we are quick to recognize the accomplishment, whether it’s an individual or team success. We always turn back to the five exemplary practices from the Leadership Challenge of encouraging the heart. The team has sessions of venting, mentoring, and advice. We rally around each other to make sure nobody feels isolated in any stressful event. When the entire team is stressed, we’ll have quick weeknight events to get together and goof off. The quality of people in the program is the best part of LDP. As long as a person has the want, there is nothing the team can’t help them through.