Student leadership organizations have appealed to me since middle school. Until very recently, I was too scared to go out for them, though, and usually chalked my inaction up to one of the following excuses: lack of confidence, quiet voice, not dedicated enough, not enough time, fear of the unknown. It was always something.

My senior year of high school, after a weak but modest attempt to join the Associated Student Body (ASB), I joined Renaissance, which highlights student achievements through a rally, GPA t-shirts, and fun activities. I enjoyed my role as a committee member in Renaissance and especially loved being a part of the action and coming up with engaging, new ideas to reward students for their academic successes.

Freshman year of college rolled around and student government or leadership roles hardly crossed my mind since I was too busy just trying to get my footing. (The first year of college is a wakeup call, let me tell you.) I wanted to participate in everything but ended up letting several opportunities slip away from my grasp.

Sophomore year of school, I entered with an extremely optimistic mindset and signed up for as many clubs as possible and, this time, actually attended several meetings. I received an email from my apartment complex about Building Government (BG), and applied, albeit a bit haphazardly, to be Eco Rep, and had my interview.

I thought the interview went so poorly that, after it was over, I walked back to my apartment and started laughing, my mind already onto the next organization that I could join. However, I was the only person who applied to be Eco Rep, at least to my knowledge, so I was signed on to the team. In my second semester, I also took on the role of Community Outreach Chair, affectionately known as COBO.

My BG team and I have put on around 10 events this year, including a back-to-school barbeque, a safe sex info session with the Kinky Trojans, brunch, s’mores nights, a movie screening in honor of Black History Month and an eco-event featuring mason-jar planting and bunnies.

Joining BG and essentially RSG, or Residential Student Government, which encompasses each individual BG (one per residential complex), has been one of the best decisions I’ve made in college thus far.

If you’ve talked to me lately, chances are you’ve heard me rave about how much I love RSG. But it’s true! I love nearly every aspect, from planning and programming the events to putting the events on to talking about how we can improve next time. I love being able to get my voice out there and implement meaningful activities. I love seeing residents satisfied and I enjoy being immersed in the program. If you’re having fun, it’s so much more likely that those around you will have fun, too.

My BG team is small and the RSG team larger, but we both have accomplished plenty. I am so lucky to have had such a great team; thank you all. We will continue to do bigger and better things next year. You didn’t think I wasn’t going to come back, did you??

I am so glad that I responded to the email and reached out to be a part of BG. That impulsive decision has opened so many doors for me already; I have looked into becoming a part of Undergraduate Student Government (USG – sorry, so many acronyms). I am more comfortable with putting myself out there, and with going into interviews. I am more easily able to talk to people and assert myself. I still have a lot to learn, of course, but RSG and BG have taught me so much and, for that, I am thankful.

On that note, if you have a knack for leadership and/or programming, or even think you do, I encourage you to apply for your BG next semester!