Broadening Your Perspective
Your first year or two at college, you may be tempted to cling to what is familiar. My advice to you is, don’t.
Don’t just hang out with people who are familiar. Don’t keep doing the same activities and going to the same places.
Remember that you won’t learn who, or what, is out there for you unless you explore. Every single person you meet knows something that you don’t know. By going to a new event, you could experience something, meet someone or learn something that could change your life. Isn’t that exciting? At Angelo State, you have the opportunity to try on new perspectives and points of view, to try new things and to have experiences that you never could have had otherwise.
At this point, you may be thinking, “Where do I start?” My advice is to start with your major.
Join a club related to your degree or to an interest you have and get involved. This is a fantastic way to get to know new people, and many of these people will have similar interests as you, which makes these clubs a safe place to start if you are shy.
You will not only get to know students from the classes in your major, but you will also make contacts and learn skills that will help you in your future career.
Developing Your Interests
If you are already involved with your major, or if you are feeling a bit more adventurous, try something entirely new.
Everyone has something they want to know more about or would like to try. Maybe you have always liked photography or graphic design or video games, and you would like to develop your skills in those areas.
Angelo State has student organizations for all of those pastimes and many more.
Joining organizations and clubs isn’t the only way you can try new things and meet new people, however. Go to one of the many events sponsored by Angelo State or the community of San Angelo.
Go to the First Saturday monthly event at the Chicken Farm Art Center in town. Try a fitness class at the Ben Kelly Center for Human Performance on campus. Listen to a famous author speak at ASU’s annual Writers Conference. Try sushi or pho or Indian food for the first time. Befriend an international student, or someone from a different background than your own. Study abroad and see firsthand how people live in other parts of the world. Take a class on a topic that you have always wanted to learn more about, like ceramics or web publishing.
The Final Word
Like many of you, when I first went off to college, I was nervous. There were more people living in one tower of my dormitory than students in my hometown high school, and I definitely felt like the hick kid from Michigan.
Despite my nervousness, I put myself out there and met new people and tried many new things. I spent one summer studying in Cuba. I volunteered at a crisis hotline. I learned how to ballroom dance (poorly). I joined an interfaith club and learned about world religions. I saw my very first opera. I learned how to hike and how to use every last piece of equipment at the student recreation center.
I treasure all of these experiences and am still close to many of the people I met during those years. Most of all, I know that I would not be the person I am today if I hadn’t pushed myself to try things. I encourage you to do the same. Get out of your comfort zone and experience everything ASU has to offer. After all, that is what college is for!