Earlier this week, I got a text asking me if I wanted to get coffee. Typical Harding move, right? Half of the SA President’s job is just drinking coffee and chatting, I’m pretty sure. Oh, and also saying hi to people on the front lawn. But this text? This wasn’t just for any coffee date: this was a coffee date with SUSAN.
For those of you who don’t know, as far as female SA presidents go, I am preceded by two Susans, and though I’ve never met them, they are pretty much my default heroines. Susan #1 won because she was the secretary and both the president and vice-president resigned. Susan #2, on the other hand, ran unopposed. I was ecstatic to meet Susan #2. I prepped and made a mental note of some questions I might ask. I was nervous — what if she was cool and composed and I’m just … myself? I was early and semi-professional and measured my words carefully. What I soon realized, however, was that Susan was simply really, authentically cool.
We only had coffee for an hour, but we laughed over all of our shared experiences as presidents across an 18-year time span. She told me about getting news out without social media (imagine the horror), and I told her about how social clubs have grown massively. It made me cherish Harding even more to be able to connect with someone from whom I am so far removed, but who had known a strikingly similar school in her day.
I asked Susan which year she had been SA President and realized that I coincidentally had a photocopy in my desk from her year. (Thank you, Dakota, Noah, Kyle, or whoever did that random act.) It was the schedule for a “Sadie Hawkins” week, a week that happened for a long time, in which girls got to ask guys out to different events. Susan took one of my pens and signed it — I have a new wall piece hanging now. When I walked away from meeting this hero, my eyes started to water. I realized then that it mattered so much to me that Susan had been there. She wasn’t doing anything outlandish or revolutionary, just as I’m not. Who knows if she was even the best SA President ever. The point is just that she was an inspiring, independent, spunky girl doing her job back in 1990, and now I’m getting to live in her legacy 28 years later.
If, day to day, you’re out there wondering what you’re doing or why the mundane even matters, this is why! There are people out there who you’ll affect, and you’ll never even know it. You might be the first of something, or the best at something, or just someone else’s Susan. Go out there and be a Susan. Be Present!