Originally published Aug. 29, 2013

Along with the sweat of a few thousand late-teens, a frantic excitement looms over the mass of students who flock to Campus Life Night—and for good reason.

This is the first and easiest opportunity to meet like-minded people, to feel included in a greater community and to pursue passions not always satisfied in an academic course.

The different facets of your being can all find homes with the vast array of student organizations offered through the Office of Student Life, so no part of the athletic, book-wormy folk musician in you will feel neglected or underfed.

You might even discover that you’re a prodigy in unexplored territory if you’re open-minded enough. Ever been curious about your fencing skills or rhetorical abilities? Exercise them alongside other students. Your earnest perusal of different club opportunities could awaken a new you and unlock even greater opportunities.

But joining these communities is not just about you.

Consider this: these clubs aren’t just a chance for you to quench your desires or “find yourself,” but also for you to help others self-actualize.

This is your time to contribute to others’ growth and experience. Maybe you know of a secret rowing technique that would raise the team to world-class standings. Maybe you’ve completed cutting edge research with a top neuroscientist and can lend a fresh perspective to the students aspiring to do the same. Maybe there’s a future Hemingway whose talents are screaming to be unleashed, and you’re the feisty critic who will push him to the edge of his capabilities.

No matter what your talents or interests are, your unique perspective and experiences are wanted and needed for the betterment of the group.

So for the sake of the community, get involved and apply your talents in a meaningful way.

Even if you’re not too keen on the idea of investing your study time in club meetings, go browse the rows of club tables to get idea of what’s available to you and what your peers are getting involved in.

The best thing about the night is that you can sign up for anything and everything with no obligation to ever pay dues or even attend a meeting, so if something intrigues you but you know you won’t have the time to commit, give your contact information anyway so you can stay up-to-date and maybe make a meeting here or there.

If you’re a severe introvert and can’t stand the thought of braving the Campus Life Night crowds, don’t let it deter you from enlisting. Be sure to get on OrgSync or just ask around about different clubs. With more than 350 student organizations available, there’s bound to be something that interests you.

And, of course, don’t forget to consider the Lanthorn and other student media organizations to catch up with us and learn about how you can help us become the Pulitzer-winning publication we’ve had only the potential of becoming.

Original publication (on A4): https://issuu.com/grandvalleylanthorn/docs/issue_4_4a1d8ed13430f6