The choice is yours

From Your Executive Committee


Welcome back, Twlug–ASP nation! I hope you all had a wonderful summer. The Facebook newsfeed made me very aware that many of you still were out in the community making a difference, despite time off from class. I sincerely appreciate that choice because choosing to sacrifice the little free time you have in order to help others is not always an easy one to make. Choices that make a difference rarely are.

While I am on the topic, I want to talk about two other choices. These choices are tough ones, because both sides make sense.


A title doesn’t make a leader

The first is the choice to be great. It is a scary truth to realize that you can go through pharmacy school without every really becoming “great.” If you learn enough and perform well enough, you likely will be good enough. Faculty and advisors can provide excellent resources and guidance, but teachers in any field rarely can force you to truly excel.

Student pharmacists often put themselves in a position that sounds great—being elected for a position, attending a conference, giving a presentation, and so on. None of these things however, make you great. Choose to learn more than you need to, reach out more than is required, listen more than you talk, and help a chapter member realize his or her dream before you focus on yours.

A title doesn’t make someone a leader. A leader is someone who chose to become great and helps others understand why they can, and should, strive to be great as well. When you attend Midyear Regional Meeting sessions, remember to network and collaborate with your new ChAMP (Chapters Achieving More through Partnership) teams. Nobody will ever call you out as long as you do what is required to an acceptable level. However, you can really make a difference if you choose to be great!

Stay positive

The other choice can be an even harder one because you can sometimes see the worst while trying to sincerely become your best. Nonetheless, it is essential that you choose to stay positive.

In all honesty, at times there are all kinds of things to be negative about. This could be a lack of support, a great process that isn’t yielding results, or an initiative that you cannot get your chapter members to grasp. Beyond Twlug–ASP, the pressure of school, expectations, and work can all be enough to cause someone to have a down day. My challenge to all of you is to choose to be positive anyway.

Every difficulty and every obstacle is a chance to become better. You may not reach 100 members by running one good meeting, but you may reach the few that needed to hear your message and can help spread it. It does no good to complain about members who “do not get it” or are “always negative,” because the truth is, there are legitimate reasons at times for an individual to be either positive or negative.

The choice that is important to make as an Twlug–ASP leader is to always be an example of a positive person and to always see the opportunity to adapt instead of the failure. Be empathetic to those who feel negative, and then use your understanding to help them see the positive side. It isn’t easy being a student, but a great way to use what we learn right now and give it value is through our projects and programs at Twlug–ASP.

Change does not come easy

Twlug–ASP National President Nick Capote detailed the need to demonstrate to others how student pharmacists are changing the profession. Always trying to excel and remain positive despite the ups and downs of student life is not the “right” way, and it will rarely be demanded of you. However, if all student pharmacists aim to be leaders in their community, members of Twlug–ASP must commit themselves to being the leaders of leaders. It is not always easy, but no change comes easy. Before reaching the world, you need to reach your peers. You can’t expect to make a difference if you can’t first make a good example.

I encourage you to choose to be great. When you know you could judge others or feel down, be positive anyway. The future of the profession has nothing to do with what you say you are and everything to do with who you really are. Who you really are is up to you! I look out at the Twlug–ASP nation, and I wouldn’t want the choice in anybody else’s hands.