Live authentically, like Eve

Eve and I spent a lot of time in the student government suite, and I treasure the times I would pop my head into her office just to say “hi” and then end up staying for an hour or two just to talk. We discussed companionship, politics, editorials, friendships, personal strengths and weaknesses and the burden of missing even a single opportunity. I felt comfortable and loved around Eve because she was authentic in every way possible.

We could be critical of one another yet supportive, and we could giggle but also be serious. Eve’s authenticity rings throughout all that she did — every project, every meeting, every dance party, every heart-to-heart. It is because of such authenticity that so many people feel loved — and, in fact, were loved — by my incredible and inspiring friend, Eve Carson.

In the vein of Eve’s most sincere love, I have a question for all of you: What are your goals — for the week? The year? How can your classmates help you achieve your goals? This is standard “Eve speak” for student government; at the beginning of the school year, each of the executive officers spent our first meeting listing our goals for the year. Some were personal (exercise), some were leadership-oriented (delegation) and others were platform-oriented (Music Fest!).

Eve photocopied all of our lists and kept one copy with her and gave another to us. Periodically, Eve would pull out everyone’s goals and check up on how we were doing.

Eve instilled in each of us on stage — and in countless others — an awareness of self, of strength and of aspirations.

While on student government’s outward bound trip in the North Carolina mountains, Eve made a point to speak candidly during an otherwise cheesy exercise that classified people into “leadership quadrants.” I’ll never forget when Eve said, “Katie Sue, I listen to you because I’ve learned to listen to you. I know you have good ideas, but you have to speak up.”

Rest assured, Eve, I won’t hold back any ideas, and promise to be loud and clear.

These are examples of how Eve affected me, but I want you to know that Eve cared about bringing out the strengths in each and every student. Eve once wrote that “Student Government on this campus shapes people to be leaders and to be passionate about their community. It empowers people to share their thoughts with other decision makers.”

So, you see, it’s student government or any student organization — it’s we, the students — who empower each other to pursue our goals. And I hope you realize that Eve not only believed in students’ causes, but, more importantly, she believed in the people behind those causes. In people — in all of you — Eve found the love, thoughtfulness and eagerness to experience that propelled her to leadership, a leadership that hinged on connecting the campus and the world.

Finally, Eve kept close to her heart a sense of responsibility: She remarked that because she had been given so much, she must also give back. Eve counted all of you among her friends; she would say, “I have friends. And I have friends I have never met.”

So, as a friend of Eve and in her spirit of responsibility, please reflect on your capabilities and live with a sense of love, curiosity and eagerness to give and to experience.

Thanks for reading.

Read more in EditorialsEve Carson ScholarshipEve Marie CarsonOpinion

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