College is a time to broaden your experiences, interests and skills. A time to meet new people, try new things and eat more Easy Mac.
Whether you’re a first year student or a senior, speaking as someone who knows, I’m telling you to get involved. It’s the first week of spring semester, and it’s time to contribute to the rich network of people, activities, and culture that a college campus and the community surrounding it provide.
My first year of college I attended the University of Minnesota- Duluth, where I made some incredible friends but did not get very involved in campus life. I dipped my toe in the metaphorical water of extracurricular activities by going to Rotaract meetings sporadically during fall semester. Otherwise, I spent my time hanging out in my apartment with my friends, watching Netflix, and working a few hours a week.
While my first year experience was okay, my second year experience was better. I transferred to Eau Claire, where I could immediately tell that there were a lot of opportunities to become part of the community.
I joined IV, one of the Christian ministries at Eau Claire, which is an amazing way to meet people and get involved in campus life. I also started writing at The Spectator, which opened up a world of possibilities. I had the opportunity to interview people from all over Eau Claire, learn about upcoming events and art showings, and meet people with similar interests.
There are over 250 student organizations on campus, each one with unique opportunities to fit the interests of many. There is no reason not to join one, put some time into it, and make an impact in this community.
The beautiful thing about Eau Claire, one of the things I first noticed when I transferred here, is that there is a myriad of opportunities to get involved in city-wide activities and organizations, not only on campus, but in the larger community. Students have an impact on the culture of Eau Claire, and that’s incredible.
I began to volunteer in the youth group of an area church last year, which is something that has been rewarding not only personally, but that has served a purpose in the lives of others as well.
The more students get involved in more things, the more interesting and diverse the Eau Claire student community becomes, and that is something to be celebrated.
You don’t have to join every single club or volunteer 40 hours a week, but college is an opportunity to learn and grow in virtually limitless ways, an opportunity the likes of which you probably won’t have again.
I had a phone conversation with one of my good friends from Duluth last year, and he told me that in my attempts to be involved in Eau Claire and follow my passions I had become the person I was meant to be.
Become the person you’re meant to be: discover your passions, give something back and make the most of this unique time in your life.
Whether it’s your first year or your fifth, it’s not too late. Join something, meet people, and help this community grow.