#dosomethingEC, an open letter
September 3, 2014
By Evan Witt
It’s September and the campus is coming back to life after the long summer slumber. Excited first-year students fill the hallways while classrooms of nostalgic seniors count down the days until graduation. Filled with opportunity, optimism, and overwhelming course loads, it’s a thrilling time of year.
One thing I have noticed across Education City is that a small number of students participate in nearly all of the incredible involvement opportunities that are offered in EC. In a given semester they might work as a CDA in the Residence Halls, attend an international trip with their university, serve as president of a club in HBKU and TA for a class. I call these the “hyper-involved students.”
But for every hyper-involved student we have ten students who are what I call the “floating students.” These are the students who float through university. They may go through their four years in EC without ever participating in an outside-of-classroom learning experience. These experiences could be an international service trip, a leadership conference, an on campus job, or even simply attending a dialogue not required by class. As they go through university, they “float” through classes, going through the motions, never getting their feet on the ground, and never getting fully settled in to university life.
Students often ask me, “What’s in it for me?” Why spend my time going to an event or program? Why apply for that service trip? Why get a job on campus? What I tell them is that these opportunities are what make your college experience. An involved student is a well-rounded individual, a student who is able to think critically, take responsibility, and have an impact. It’s a student who knows how to enact change. As you participate in these programs you are given the chance to apply your knowledge, to work in a diverse team, and to take responsibility and initiative.
Sure you can graduate with your degree and move on. But I promise you will look back and wish you had done more.
So I have a challenge for all of you: do something.
Do at least one thing to start this year. It might be joining a club, signing up for a leadership conference, getting a job, or just talking to your Student Affairs office. But do something. You do not need to be one of those “hyper-involved” students on campus that I mentioned earlier, but do not be one of the “floaters” either. Capture the energy of the start of the year and start to make your impact today.
If you are not sure where to start, visit your Student Affairs office or come to Ya Hala this Thursday at 18:00 in the Student Center. As you decide on what you are going to get involved in this year, share it on Twitter with #dosomethingec. This can also give you ideas on what other students have decided to do. Opportunity awaits you. Don’t let it pass. Best of luck in the upcoming year and I look forward to seeing you around Education City!
Evan Witt is the Coordinator for Campus Life in the HBKU Student Center. He has been working in Education City for two years and can be reached [email protected]