Get involved on campus and find your passion

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Get involved on campus and find your passion

Mason Brooks, Managing Editor

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If you are a student at the University of Hartford, I urge you to get involved on campus as much as possible.  Before I dive into the wondrous benefits of campus involvement, let me just start by saying this: for such a relatively small college campus, there is an abundance of diverse organizations and activities that you can participate in.  With over 100 student-organized clubs, there is certainly one (or more) for you.  These range from athletic clubs where you can join a sports team such as rugby and frisbee, to academic clubs where you can explore your educational passion, with so many more club disciplines in between.  I have to forewarn, I definitely carry a positive bias towards student organizations, considering I am involved in Greek Life, Club Rugby, and obviously The Informer Student Newspaper.  That being said, there are real benefits of joining student clubs.

First off, joining an organization on campus is an excellent way to network and meet new people.  I have found that my best friends on campus are those whom I met through my involvement in various organizations.  When I was a freshman, I was hesitant to branch out and get involved at all.  I had already established my core group of four friends, and was content.  Boy, was joining Greek Life a wake up call.  In the spring of my freshman year, I joined Greek Life and within the span of months knew hundreds of people around campus, including some of those whom are closest to me today.  Because I made the leap to put myself out there, I not only made all of these connections, but it opened up my eyes to many other benefits of being involved on campus.

One thing you learn really well from being involved is how to be responsible for yourself.  College is a lot more than just hitting the books and hanging out with friends.  There is so much that goes into living on campus and being an active member of the UHart community.  Living on your own can be an extremely stressful experience for freshmen to handle.  During my first year here, I fell into the category of those who were very inefficient with time management, accountability, and overall responsibility.  My grades were never the issue for me, however the stress of constant procrastination, and monotony always made me feel this sensation of perpetual unease. It was until I found a group of like-minded individuals all trying to achieve a common goal, that I found purpose in what I was doing with my college career.  This purpose is what I hold dear to me, and what encourages me to be responsible.  Now, I am able to manage my time, hold myself and others accountable, and be responsible for work which I never thought possible.

Most importantly however, joining a club can inspire a passion within you.  I had no idea what I was interested in until I reached out and discovered my passion through campus involvement.  I am sure that every college student has been put through the gauntlet of cringeworthy classroom introductions, and one thing that always comes up is providing an interesting fact about yourself.  This one question, quite simply, was a primary reason for my anxiety freshman year.  I struggled class after class, attempting to tackle this question, and coming up with no solid answer.  It was not that I was not an interesting person, but more that I really just did not do any interesting things.  While back then I would cop out and say my interesting fact was that I am an avid Philadelphia Eagles fan (go birds), it really did not describe anything about me.  What do I say now?  I talk about all of the experiences my campus involvement have brought me.  From attending a national fraternity conference in the nation’s capital during the fourth of July, to playing quite possibly the most incredible sport at a national collegiate tournament in the Catalina Foothills of Arizona, to broadcasting my message across the University of Hartford through the student newspaper, I almost feel like I could be the most interesting man in the world.  Being involved in these student activities has provided me with the opportunity to make the most out of my college experience, and do things I never saw myself being able to do.  Having said all of that, I encourage all of the students reading this to simply get involved.

Find your passion, whether it be a sport, academic club, service organization, multicultural organization, performance-based organization, or even writing at the student newspaper, it does not matter.  When I joined Greek Life I did not know a single person in any fraternity.  When I joined rugby, I did not even know you were supposed to pass the ball backwards.  When I began writing at The Informer, I had no idea what an “AP Style” was.  My point is, you do not have to know what you are getting into, you just have to be brave enough to get involved and find out all the benefits that could be in store for you too.  If you are curious about the different club offerings at the University of Hartford, be sure to visit the University website.  There, under the student life tab, you can find the clubs and organizations index which lists all of the recognized clubs and organizations on campus along with the names of those you should contact to receive more information.