5 Ways To Get Involved

5 Ways To Get Involved

Getting involved on campus isn’t just extra-curricular, it’s a way of life!
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I’m sure we’ve all heard that when you move away to college for your freshman year that you need to do two things: focus on your studies and get involved. You’re probably thinking, “Duh, of course I need to focus on my studies, that’s why I’m at college.” But not many people think about part two. Getting involved can be your foot in the door for several opportunities around campus and later on in life.

1. Don’t be shy.

This might sound silly, but it’s 100% true! If you remain in your shell and don’t speak up or leave your dorm room, then your chances of getting involved could potentially be history. The people talking to you will not bite, I promise! Honestly, they want you to join their organization. Just put a smile on your face and be open to hearing their mission statement, you never know what could happen once you talk to the people.

2. Go to the Activities Fair.

If you are a huge "Pitch Perfect" nerd like me, you might remember the scene where Beca’s dad came to visit her on move in day and she left abruptly with her roommate to attend the activities fair. Clubs and organizations plan for weeks on getting workers to stand at the tables and help recruit new members. Those individuals are taking time out of their day to sell you their organization. Keep in mind, there will be sign-up sheets everywhere you turn, so get involved, but don’t sign up for every organization on campus. Find a list on your school website or talk to the Student Development office on campus to see which organizations will be present and pick your top three to visit, but still be open to other organizations. Also, there’s free stuff at the activities fair, it’s like trick or treating as a reward for going!

3. Stay up to date with what is going on.

The public bulletin boards are not there for show, people really want you to read what they have to say. Crazy right? Maybe there is an activity that is being held on the quad where you can go and hang out with your friends and people from the organization all at once so you can see if it is one you might want to join. If it looks like an organization you would do well in, then definitely contact the organization as soon as possible! If you’re unsure, then contact them and ask some general questions on why you should join.

4. Talk to someone you trust.

If your favorite class is a foreign language class, talk to your professor to see if there is a club that you can join (maybe there is extra credit involved after you join). If you’re not one for talking to a professor, try talking to your RA if you live on campus, they are a great resource to have. Your RA has more than likely been actively involved in at least one organization on campus, and the other RAs in your building might be in other organizations too. Simply set aside time to talk to them and find out why they joined and what they love about that organization. Just don’t get stuck in the shower singing with another student as a way to join the organization.

5. Be Yourself.

In "Pitch Perfect," you probably noticed how Beca was totally herself. She knew what she wanted to do and what her interests consisted of. She didn’t want to join The Bellas at first because she didn’t think of herself as a singer or a girly girl. Instead, she became a DJ to help her toward becoming a music producer and eventually joined The Bellas and made some friends from it. You can do the same thing too! After seeing what there is around campus, don’t be anyone but yourself, it helps in the long run! It worked for Beca, and now the Bellas have a new sound. You might be able to help contribute something to an organization that will help you build your resume and maybe even help better the organization as a whole. Plus, it’s a great way to make friends and have fun!

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I Went To "The Bachelor" Auditions

And here's why you won’t be seeing me on TV.
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It’s finally time to admit my guilty pleasure: I have always been a huge fan of The Bachelor.

I can readily admit that I’ve been a part of Bachelor fantasy leagues, watch parties, solo watching — you name it, I’ve gone the whole nine yards. While I will admit that the show can be incredibly trashy at times, something about it makes me want to watch it that much more. So when I found out that The Bachelor was holding auditions in Houston, I had to investigate.

While I never had the intention of actually auditioning, there was no way I would miss an opportunity to spend some time people watching and check out the filming location of one of my favorite TV shows.

The casting location of The Bachelor, The Downtown Aquarium in Houston, was less than two blocks away from my office. I assumed that I would easily be able to spot the audition line, secretly hoping that the endless line of people would beg the question: what fish could draw THAT big of a crowd?

As I trekked around the tanks full of aquatic creatures in my bright pink dress and heels (feeling somewhat silly for being in such nice clothes in an aquarium and being really proud of myself for somewhat looking the part), I realized that these auditions would be a lot harder to find than I thought.

Finally, I followed the scent of hairspray leading me up the elevator to the third floor of the aquarium.

The doors slid open. I found myself at the end of a large line of 20-something-year-old men and women and I could feel all eyes on me, their next competitor. I watched as one woman pulled out her travel sized hair curler, someone practiced answering interview questions with a companion, and a man (who was definitely a little too old to be the next bachelor) trying out his own pick-up lines on some of the women standing next to him.

I walked to the end of the line (trying to maintain my nonchalant attitude — I don’t want to find love on a TV show). As I looked around, I realized that one woman had not taken her eyes off of me. She batted her fake eyelashes and looked at her friend, mumbling something about the *grumble mumble* “girl in the pink dress.”

I felt a wave of insecurity as I looked down at my body, immediately beginning to recognize the minor flaws in my appearance.

The string hanging off my dress, the bruise on my ankle, the smudge of mascara I was sure I had on the left corner of my eye. I could feel myself begin to sweat. These women were all so gorgeous. Everyone’s hair was perfectly in place, their eyeliner was done flawlessly, and most of them looked like they had just walked off the runway. Obviously, I stuck out like a sore thumb.

I walked over to the couches and sat down. For someone who for the most part spent most of the two hours each Monday night mocking the cast, I was shocked by how much pressure and tension I felt in the room.

A cop, stationed outside the audition room, looked over at me. After a brief explanation that I was just there to watch, he smiled and offered me a tour around the audition space. I watched the lines of beautiful people walk in and out of the space, realizing that each and every one of these contestants to-be was fixated on their own flaws rather than actually worrying about “love.”

Being with all these people, I can see why it’s so easy to get sucked into the fantasy. Reality TV sells because it’s different than real life. And really, what girl wouldn’t like a rose?

Why was I so intimidated by these people? Reality TV is actually the biggest oxymoron. In real life, one person doesn’t get to call all the shots. Every night isn’t going to be in a helicopter looking over the south of France. A real relationship depends on more than the first impression.

The best part of being in a relationship is the reality. The best part about yourself isn’t your high heels. It’s not the perfect dress or the great pick-up lines. It’s being with the person that you can be real with. While I will always be a fan of The Bachelor franchise, this was a nice dose of reality. I think I’ll stick to my cheap sushi dates and getting caught in the rain.

But for anyone who wants to be on The Bachelor, let me just tell you: Your mom was right. There really are a lot of fish in the sea. Or at least at the aquarium.

Cover Image Credit: The Cut

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I'm Not The Person I Was In High School And I'm Not Sorry I Changed

I'm sorry, the old me can't come to the phone right now.

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If those who knew me in high school hung out with me now, they probably wouldn't recognize me. If my friends from college hung out with me around two years ago, they probably wouldn't recognize me. It's safe to say I've changed... a lot. I definitely find the change to be for the better and I couldn't be happier with the person I've become.

In high school, I would sit at home every night anxiously waiting to leave and go out. Now, honestly, going out is the last thing I want to do any night of the week. While everyone in college is at a fraternity party or at the bars, I prefer to sit at home on the couch, watching Netflix with my boyfriend. That's an ideal night for me and it is exactly the opposite of what I wanted to do a couple of years ago. There's nothing wrong with going out and partying, it's just not what I want to do anymore.

I craved attention in high school. I went to the parties and outings so I could be in Snapchats and photos, just so people would know I was there. I hung out with certain groups of people just so I could say I was "friends" with so-and-so who was so very popular. I wanted to be known and I wanted to be cool.

Now, I couldn't care less. I go to the bars or the parties if I really feel like it or if my friends make me feel bad enough for never going anywhere that I finally decide to show up. It's just not my scene anymore and I no longer worry about missing out.

If you could look back at me during my junior year of high school, you probably would've found me searching for the best-ranked party schools and colleges with the best nearby clubs or bars. Now, you can find me eating snacks on the couch on a Friday night watching the parties through other peoples' Snapchats.

Some may say that I'm boring now, and while I agree that my life is a little less adventurous now than it was in high school, I don't regret the lifestyle changes I've made. I feel happier, I feel like a better person, I feel much more complete. I'm not sorry that I've changed since high school and I'm not sorry that I'm not living the typical "college lifestyle." I don't see anything wrong with that life, it's just not what makes me happy and it's not what I want to do anymore.

I've become a different person since high school and I couldn't be happier about it. I have a lot that's contributed to the change, but my boyfriend definitely was the main factor as he showed me that staying in can be a million times better than a night out. My interests and my social cravings have completely transitioned into that of an 80-year-old grandma, but I don't regret it.

Change doesn't have to be a bad thing. In fact, it can bring a lot more happiness and comfort. The transition from high school to college is drastic, but you can also use it as an opportunity to transition from one lifestyle to another. I don't regret the lifestyle flip I made and I couldn't be less apologetic about it.

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