Go to events outside of your own interests, further your college perspective

May 09, 2017

Eleanor Sturt

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When you go to your first orientation and start classes at UCCS, you may feel harassed by the phrase, “Get involved on campus!”

As a freshman, I did not take this seriously; I was determined to succeed in college without getting involved and throw myself into my studies, just like I did in high school.

Turns out that does not work so well in college.

Halfway through my first semester, I was ready to quit.

I had no friends, I spent as little time as possible on campus and I was miserable. I had never hated school so much.

In dire need of some cash fl ow, I applied for a job at The Scribe and was hired a few weeks later. At the time, I was disappointed I could not get a job within my degree, theater.

Now, I am grateful for the opportunity because it has opened me to other mindsets and points of view.

Being involved outside of my own department reminds me of the diversity at UCCS.

UCCS hosts over 170 clubs and hundreds of free events throughout the year, from dances with free food to seminars with guest speakers. The events on campus span over every major and invite people of all backgrounds.

Coming into university life is a difficult transition. Adding more activities on your plate can feel overwhelming, but getting involved on campus is going to help you succeed in both your classes and social life.

Many students come to college not knowing their intended major, and even more change their major in their first few years. Trying out different activities will allow you to experience different mindsets and may even help you realize a different career path.

The events calendar and Mountain Lion Connect are constantly full, and students frequently post events to the UCCS Bulletin Board, a Facebook group that offers ways for students to get involved.

As a theater major, it is easy to get involved in my department.

We have three Main Stage shows a semester, plus on-sight shows through our Parterre Stage. It would be easy for me to quit my job and just dedicate myself to activities that would further my skills in my acting career.

But as much as a love my department, we can be closed off, forgetting about other majors and falling into a similar rhythm. That is why I love being a part of organizations that give me a different experience.

Getting involved does not just mean participating in extracurricular activities, but trying different classes. Universities have cross-disciplinary requirements for a reason.

UCCS has all types of fun classes and with a little trial and error, you may find a new hobby or even a new career path.

Use those cross-disciplinary credits to try something completely new. You may not know how much you like it until you have tried.

One of my professors reminds his students that you learn two things in college: how to write, and how to party.

While he primarily says this in jest, there is some truth.

We should not attend a university to get our degrees and get out; there is more to learn in college than just how to ace an exam.

Do yourself a favor and get involved and not just within your own major. Not only will your grades improve, but you may find yourself a little more invested in your school.