Thursday, September 7, 2017

Getting out of your comfort zone


Growing up, I attended thirteen years of small, Catholic schools in Delaware County. While I received a quality education while attending these schools, once I began attending Cardinal O’Hara High School, I quickly learned that if you weren’t on one of the sports teams, in the band, or a part of the theatre productions, you slid through the cracks. While despite not being very involved in high school, I still managed to form a tight niche of friends; but I still yearned to belong to a group that made me feel bigger than myself.

Unfortunately, I consider myself virtually talentless — I can’t sing, I have two left feet, and I am pretty much the most uncoordinated person you will ever meet. So if I wasn’t in school, I was found working part time at Rite Aid. Once I graduated, I made a promise to myself that college was going to be different — I would do more than just work, go to class, hang out with my friends, and watch Netflix.

During my freshman orientation, they mentioned that the Center for Leadership and Engagement would be hosting an Activities and Involvement Fair where student clubs and organizations would be highlighting what they were about and what they would be doing that year. I was so excited! This was the perfect opportunity for me to keep my promise to myself — and a few days later, that’s exactly what I did.

I was a little overwhelmed at first because I had no idea what kind of things I wanted to be involved with; but the best part about attending a public school for the first time in my life was that if there was something I was remotely interested in, there seemed to be a club for it. I ended up signing up for six clubs at the Activities and Involvement Fair ranging from academics to fitness to community service. At first, I seemed to be able to balance 15 credits and seven extracurricular activities; but as soon as midterms hit, I realized it was going to be impossible to be involved in everything.

During Week 6 of my first semester in college, I called my mom in a panic. That week I had three exams and a ton of meetings for all of the clubs I was involved with. I have always had really bad test anxiety, so my mom suggested I take a step back from some of the organizations I was involved with and focus on just a few. I realized she was right and after that phone call, I created a pro-con list for each activity I was involved in.

I decided to try to stay involved in the American Marketing Association because marketing is one of my majors and I had already paid the dues for that year. But I still wanted to be involved in something that wasn’t necessarily academic. Because I attended Catholic school, I was required to do a certain amount of community service hours every year; but usually I went beyond the minimum amount. I realized in that moment that I needed to be involved in some sort of community-service club.

During my junior year of high school, I attended a leadership camp for the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and quickly grew passionate about finding a cure for childhood cancer. When I saw that Bloomsburg had a Colleges Against Cancer chapter, I knew that this club would be perfect for me. During the summer before I started at BU, my grandma was diagnosed with Stage 3 cancer so I thought that this was the perfect club for me.

I was pretty active in CAC my first two semesters of college, however, decided not to be involved any more during my sophomore year. I had joined Delta Phi Epsilon in my second semester and became the community service chair for them, so I wanted to put all of my passion into that.

While I believe that being involved on campus and in the community is an important part of being a student, I think it’s more important to find a few activities you really enjoy and are able to put your time, energy and passion into. As college students, we are often running around like chickens with no heads; but the friendships, soft skills, and resume boost you gain from being involved on campus is truly worth the stress.

Bloomsburg University has so many opportunities for you to get involved and leave your mark; and I really encourage you to get involved as early on as possible. The earlier you get involved — the more positive experiences you’ll get out of it.

Don’t be afraid to try something new and get out of your comfort zone. Even if you don’t think a club or organization is right for you, try it out and see how you feel. You never know the amazing things that could come out of it.

— Kim Oaster, senior mass communications and marketing dual major #HuskyLife

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.