When I started school at Truman State back in 2013, I was working as a reporter for the Index before I was even a full-time student. I’d arrived on campus with every newspaper article I’d ever written, pestered the news editors incessantly, and walked out of Barnett Hall with a job after three days of living on campus. It was a quick turnaround, but getting involved so early was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. That’s the message I’m always most keen to impart when I talk to new students — get involved right away.
If you’re one of those new students I’m referring to, congratulations! You’re about to begin the best four years of your life, especially if you make something of your time here as you set the foundation. Life as a college student is what you make it, from who you decide to hang out with in your new residence hall to what student organizations you jump headfirst into. Three years later, the friends I made in my residence hall during my first week here became my roommates for two years and I’ve moved all the way up the ladder at the Index to the editor-in-chief position.
This first year will be an adjustment, but you’ll find that when you look back a few years from now, it was also the year you had the most free time. Use that time wisely to meet new people and branch out. Though I’m glad I met my best friends here and started working for the student media during my first year, I also have some regrets when I look back, knowing I could have started my involvement with other organizations at the same time. I’m now involved with a social fraternity and an honor fraternity, both of which I could have looked into much earlier. It would’ve been much easier, too, as I ended up joining them during two of my more difficult semesters. Don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone. Meeting new people who you haven’t been going to school with for most of your life is one of the best parts of being a college student, and it’ll keep you sane as you adjust to college academics.
There are a lot of options for things to be involved in, too. Sorority recruitment starts Sept. 6, and fraternity rush starts Sept. 9. There are club and intramural sports teams to join, organizations that cater to just about any interest, academic or otherwise, and we’ll even have an activities fair Aug. 31 in the Student Union Building where many of these organizations will have representatives to answer your questions and give you an idea of what to expect. It’s very easy to get involved just about anywhere with the size of our campus population, so use that to your advantage.
If you’re coming from a bigger city, getting involved is also a good way to avoid going stir-crazy adjusting to life in a smaller community. I’m from Kansas City, so it was a bit of a culture shock coming to Kirksville. If you know where to look, there’s plenty to do on and off campus, and being involved in organizations on campus can make it even easier to find fun things to do in your free time.
On a parting note, I just want to emphasize how easy it is to be involved in whatever you want here. However, it’s up to you to make it happen. Start early, and I guarantee your first few months here at Truman will be a time you’ll never forget.