Take a moment to get to know Lili Hayes, SOAR Leadership Assistant.
Tell us about yourself. Hi! My name is Lili Hayes. I’m originally from St. Paul, Minnesota but moved to Eureka, Missouri in 2011. I’m currently a senior double majoring in Creative Writing and Film & Media Studies with a minor in Screenwriting.
I have my parents, an older sister, an older brother, and a younger sister back home along with a dog (Soda Pop Tart) and two cats (Buddy and Coke)! In Springfield, I’ve got my own cat named Crunchwrap Supreme.
What have you been involved with on campus? I’ve been involved with quite a few organizations on campus over the years. I was in a sorority, Student Activities Council, and Student Government Association. Now, I’m mostly involved with SOAR, Tabula Rasa, Moon City Review, and the campus newspaper, The Standard.
You were a SOAR Leader this past summer. What made you apply to be a SOAR Leader? I applied to be a SOAR Leader because my own SOAR session was in the summer of 2020. To make sure we all stayed safe and healthy, it was a rather short experience with little socializing. I left wondering what a normal summer looked like for incoming freshmen—the friendships, the connections, the insider’s knowledge. I wanted to have the full experience!
When I was in high school, I was a freshman orientation leader, so I knew how fun it could be to guide students into a brand-new world. I wanted to get involved, experience a full SOAR session, and meet as many new students as possible!
What did you learn from being a SOAR Leader? What are the qualities of a good Leader? I learned a lot of technical things like time management, organizational skills, and how to handle conflict. However, I also learned how to trust myself and others as well as how to be brave in new circumstances.
I think a good leader is someone who is patient, curious, positive, and calm even during a stressful time.
Why do you think that other students should apply to be a SOAR Leader? It’s an amazing and unique experience! You’ll meet people with identities, backgrounds, and perspectives you’ve never encountered before and learn how to be a kinder, more open-minded person.
On top of that, you’ll get to make connections with faculty members and 40 other students on the SOAR team.
Why did you apply to be leadership assistant for Summer 2024? What do you hope to accomplish in your new position? I was on the Leadership Team for SOAR last year as the Bear Essentials Moderator and loved every moment. I wanted to continue to see the SOAR program grow, and an important part of that is having a strong Leadership Team to facilitate various activities. It only felt right to apply to be the Leadership Assistant and try to help that growth in any way I could!
Why should students get involved on campus? It can be easy to stick to what you know and never branch out or challenge yourself, especially on a campus as big as MSU, but getting involved is the best way to make new friends, learn more about yourself, and get ready for the world beyond college.
It’s also a great way to learn how to balance work and school. Even if it seems overwhelming, you never know how great it can be until you try!
What is your favorite Missouri State tradition? Why? My favorite tradition is Fountain Day! I love getting together with my friends to celebrate the fountain turning back on. It makes campus feel alive after the winter!
What advice do you have for our family members? Be a support system for your child as they enter this new chapter in life. By that, I mean be there for them as much as you can when they need it, but also let them branch out by themselves and learn how the world works.
What advice do you have for our students? Specifically for incoming students, don’t be too hard on yourself during the transition. Maybe you don’t find an organization you love right away, maybe that math class is harder than you expected, or maybe you feel a little lost on campus. That’s okay! Take your time feeling everything out and go at your own pace.