Slice of Life

LaNia Roberts brings Snapchat story motivation to life in speech

Hanna Horvath | Staff Writer

LaNia Roberts talks to the crowd in Grant Auditorium during her event, "Motivation by LANIA: How I Got My Groove Back, and How You Can Get Yours Too!"

LaNia Roberts, a well known face on the Syracuse University campus and the SU Snapchat story hosted her second annual motivational speech entitled “How I Got My Groove Back and How You Can Get Yours Too” in Grant Auditorium Monday.

The sophomore painting major began by explaining how she went through an emotional breakdown in her art studio two months ago.

“I know I just shed a few tears, but I shedded a lot more to get to this stage right here today,” she said.

But the sad reflections were replaced as Roberts continued her speech with a special call to action from her audience.

“Well first, we gotta do it for the snap. Y’all already know,” the popular Snapchatter said.

Roberts held her iPhone up in front of herself selfie-style and confidently asked the camera, “Who’s ready to get their groove back?” She then turned the lens around, training it out onto the audience, who excitedly hollered back “We are.”

And so the speech commenced. The first thing Roberts discussed was what exactly one’s “groove” is.

“Your groove is that inner, inner fire inside your soul,” she said. “That flame that can be huge and big and you can’t even contain it within yourself and you’re touching everybody else with it… or, it can be really low, and dim.”

She opened up about how her own fire dimmed, calling it “the biggest breakdown she’s ever had in her life.” Sitting alone in her art studio, she said she felt as blank as the canvasses surrounding her that day: her life full of aimless white space, everything started but nothing completed, waiting to be filled in with something beautiful.
Roberts discussed how she “was saying no to the things that steered her soul,” and was involved in so many things she said she loved, but weren’t helping propel her on to what she needed to do in her life. She said she wanted to be in her studio, but had so much else she was involved in.

Roberts confided in the audience that she had started crying, and didn’t stop for two hours. Finding herself in a rut with her spark lost, she described the breakdown and how it put her fire out: “All those tears…the more they dropped, the more the flame went away,” she said.

Roberts said those who know her were confused at how she could have possibly “lost her groove” in the first place.

“They couldn’t realize that me, the weather girl, LaNia, who’s always smiling, could possibly have a low period in her life. Could possibly have to work to have that smile. So this is me being personal,” she said after the speech.

In order to get your groove back, there is great importance in saying no to the things that drain you, and yes to the things that “steer your soul,” Roberts said.

Robert’s family, who came from home in Kentucky to attend her speech, said they see their daughter becoming an entrepreneur or even a full-time motivational speaker in the future.

Shawn Roberts, her mother, said her favorite part of the speech was about the power of self-love, and remarked on how Roberts was relaxed and happy in front of the crowd.

“I have heard so many people tell us that she could be the next Oprah Winfrey,” she said.

Gerald Brown, a sophomore sculpture major and one of LaNia’s close friends, said there couldn’t possibly be one main take-away from the pep talk.

“Each aspect of it brings something different, so I don’t want to compare them,” she said. “It’s almost like eating Sour Patch Kids…they’re all different flavors, but they all taste good.”

Roberts concluded by saying that she loves to make people feel good and this year, for the first time, she didn’t feel good herself.

Said Roberts: “I have a 1,000 chances in this world to make any mistake that I want, and when I get to that last 999, all I gotta do is press reset. And I can get right back up.”

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