So I’m supposed to talk about what I took away from CreateAthon.
I’ve sort of already done this, but I’ll go over it again briefly.
My biggest takeaways from CreateAthon, with this being my second year, is what changes when you turn from a team member, volunteering to help, to a team leader, running your team.
Last year, as a team member, volunteering to help out, there wasn’t as much stress.
Stress to complete the tasks, having finished products, everything ready for reviews. I knew that I had to complete those, but the stress on me was definitely not as great as the stress on my team leader last year.
This year, as a team leader, I can definitely understand what my leader went through last year. I’m someone who likes to figure things out on my own, being stubborn does that sort of thing to you, but I was constantly asking for help, something that I don’t normally do. I was asking constantly for feedback on the logo, help making the infographical poster, directions to go in, help with our website design, etc. I know for some people, asking for help is no big deal, but for me, it’s a huge thing.
The mentors were great at providing help though. For our brainstorming session, we were on a roll. We went through and drew all over the windows in Temple. Mind maps were spread across 4 panels of windows. We had a couple of mentors (including my team leader, Ally, from the previous year) stop by and see how we were doing, but like I said, we were on a roll.
The big glitches started to hit when we were trying to go through with executions it seems. We were disagreeing on colors, trying to figure out how to best portray a thought, all while trying to put together a cohesive campaign.
My team members were wonderful. I always have moments when working with people where there’s going to be disagreements, but that’s just part of working on a team. I did have a little bit of trouble working with my VSU student, but I’m betting that it’s partly because we were butting heads slightly, and also because he was one of 6 VSU students working with a ton of VCU students.
I will say that I started freaking out around 5 in the morning. No sleep and pressure getting to you, not a good combination. I’m pretty sure my team noticed too, and they definitely kept me in check. I have to thank them sooooo much for that.
But, around 11 we gave our presentation. Our clients were definitely thrilled. Not everything was finished, but I was forced to go home by Peyton. I’m pretty sure the exact words were “go home! go get some sleep!” and then 5 minutes later, since I’m still there, “you need to go get some sleep!”
So all in all, CreateAthon is definitely an experience that sticks with you. Definitely a different experience from my first year, when I was a volunteer/team member, but I’m actually grateful for the two different sides. I kind of understood what my team was going through, which I think helped make me a better leader for them.