Being involved on a college campus makes all the difference in the world. As a freshman, I dove straight into the University of South Florida. Now, as a senior, I'm gearing up to graduate this summer. A lot of the memories I made within the first year and a half of my undergrad I’ll take with me and remember forever!
Even though I stayed close to home, the whole “college student” life was still hard to acclimate to. I moved on campus, so that made it super easy and convenient to become involved.
I’m graduating an entire year early. Kinda scary, kinda awesome. If there is one thing I can tell you, try to get involved within your first few semesters at your university. Today, my schedule is so hectic it’s really hard to make it on campus, but I’m so thankful I took the time to really be on campus during my freshman and sophomore years.
I remember during my orientation, I was so confused as to how people actually maneuvered the campus. I thought there was absolutely NO way that I could master figuring out where my classes were even in four years. The University of South Florida is big, but once I started to become a part of it through organizations, it got much smaller.
So how did I get involved?
I got involved with Greek life during my very first semester, and it was a really great idea.
After I became a member of a sorority, I always had a friendly face on campus. Most of the time, I walk into class and see a familiar face that I could sit with. Another huge benefit was the study partners that came with joining a sorority – there is always, I mean always, someone in the library at any given moment.
Also, for me, finding a group of girls that hold all the same values as I do was something I will never regret. I know for sure that I can count on any member of my sorority to be there when I need something. When I’m struggling in any aspect, when I’m upset about something, when I’m celebrating an achievement – they’re the best support system. Those girls have truly helped me in every aspect of my life and helped me grow into the confident, goal-oriented and passionate person I am today!
Personally, I’ve always had the convenience of home being right around the corner while living on a college campus. Yet, I have seen through the girls the advantage of being involved if you get homesick. The bonds and memories made from becoming part of groups, clubs and/or teams on a college campus is definitely something that makes the time away from family and hometown friends a little easier.
ALSO – get involved in your degree!
Another way I became involved within my university was joining clubs and teams within my college on campus. When I finally passed the test to become a student of The Zimmerman School of Advertising and Mass Communications, I began to surround myself with students and professors that are willing to bend over backwards for success. I honestly feel like I am constantly in the Zimmerman building during the semesters, and I LOVE it.
Within the Zimmerman school, I know that if I ever needed help, any of my fellow classmates or professors would lend me a hand (if any of you are reading this, thank you for all you’ve already done!)
Part of me is honestly really sad to leave with my degree in 7 months, because I will truly miss seeing my professors and my classmates daily. That felt weird to even type, but the connections and bonds I made from being involved in college has left me with so many awesome relationships and opportunities.
The other part of me, however, is so excited to see what big girl world has in store for me!
I guess to sum it all up, I truly believe that becoming involved on a college campus makes the college experience what it is. It’s so easy for those four years to fly by and to just leave with a degree, but when you put yourself in the middle of the university and jump at opportunities to give back, better yourself and see the spirit of the university – that’s a college experience. You’ll leave with tons of memories, friends and connections that could turn into job opportunities.
Wink wink, make those connections…
So to all of the college freshman starting school this year, or even those wanting to get ivolved next semester - my challenge for you is to find something that you want to be a part of and go all in. You won't be sorry!
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