One of the coolest things about college is the vast array of new experiences and opportunities that are made available to you, pretty much out of nowhere. To be honest, it was pretty overwhelming last year to have all of this information thrown at me, so I pretty much took an avoidance approach (if you could even call it an approach) to all of the clubs, activities, and events that were consistently advertised.
One event sticks out to me—now that I try to remember it—was some sort of club fair that was held to get people to get involved with certain groups. I’m pretty sure it was during freshman orientation during the summer, but don’t quote me on this (it could have been opening weekend…or both). The Student Union was crisscrossed by tables drowning in posters, papers, photos, people, and tons of free stuff. It seemed like the sole goal of the upperclassmen behind the booths was to get as many poor, innocent, misguided freshman to sign up to receive even more advertisements for their respective clubs… and it worked. My email account was barraged by a flood of consistent updates from clubs who I had blindly handed my email address to.
And I learned to ignore them. I’d say that last year, I was feeling my introversion very strongly and so I stayed involved only within the tight, safe bounds of my comfort zone. I was in the marching band and started attending Campus Ambassadors (upon being invited), but there wasn’t really that much extracurricular stuff that I was involved in during freshman year. By the time I gathered enough courage to consider joining something, it was too late (like, way too late).
Okay, so maybe “pretty overwhelming” would have felt like a serious understatement to freshman Maggie.
But at the end of the year and over the summer, I got it in my head that I should find more stuff to get involved in. I didn’t want to end up leaving college with minimal experiences. This is the time of my life to try new things and learn more about what makes me happy, right?
So when an email popped into my inbox advertising a UB Swing (short for swing-dance) mini-lesson and informal social dance on this past Wednesday, I was all in. I even knew a few friends who were also going, so I had a little safety net of people who 1) I knew, and 2) I knew would be there, in case it got awkward or boring—hey, you have to be prepared for every worst-case scenario.
Luckily, that was all completely unnecessary because I had such an amazing time that I can’t even begin to describe it without sounding oddly obsessed or crazy or misguided. One of my friends asked me about it at dinner yesterday and I immediately went into hardcore “geek-out mode” and started jumping around with excitement, just by talking about how much fun I had.
Sophomore year. I am ready to embrace the new experiences that come my way. Actually, scratch that: I’m going to seek them out. College is good, and it is good to be back.
I love you.