The following post was written by Kaitlyn Woods, an undergraduate student from Australia studying journalism at Oakland University.
When I first started at Oakland University the campus seemed huge. With endless opportunities all at my feet, knowing where to start on campus appeared to be the hardest. I came in determined to be involved in college, knowing that this experience is one to make the most of.
For orientation part one, my group leader Rachel was friendly and made it clear she was ready to help us or answer any questions we had. So, subsequent to both part one and two of orientation, I reached out to Rachel seeking clarification and guidance on certain aspects involved with a true American college experience, as I had just moved from Australia. She willingly met me and told me what she is involved in and how beneficial it is. I asked her questions that may be obvious to an American but for someone not raised in this environment such concepts are unprecedented/foreign. I enquired about sororities; what they are, what do they involve, how do you join one and if she would recommend becoming a member. She explained it all to me and suggested that I join one after a year- my sophomore year, so that I am familiar with the place and can discern whether it is for me as it is a commitment.
She then took me around to some significant landmarks on campus and to the CSA office where we got a list of all the clubs and organizations on campus. as we we through it, we highlighted some that we both agreed would be a good place to start, making sure they were flexible with my schedule and importantly enjoyable. I joined the Meadow Brook Ball committee, ballroom and Latin dance and a Christian organization called CRU; all where I have made and continue to make memories and friends.
As an example, the president of the Meadow Brook Ball committee organized a day trip to Frankenmuth. We went by bus and ate lunch at Zender’s chicken. We all bonded right away from our work and scheduled times within the committee, getting to spend time with each other, resulting in people who I am able to now call friends.
The importance of reaching out and discovering your opportunities may seem daunting but it will enhance your college life. It gives you a sort of purpose other than just classes, homework, assignments, papers and exams. It allows you to meet different types of people and learn beyond just a textbook or lecture. It gives you the time to make friends, bond and connect with people who have similar interests, hopes or passions as you.
I highly recommend reaching out to someone who is involved and well-rounded with all the campus’s events to ask them any questions or for clarification. Other than the Oakland University website, there are numerous people and resources who are eager to assist you in whatever you seek. This is your time and a gifted experience. Being involved and branching outside of your comfort zone is essential to make your college experience enriching and memorable.
Written by Kaitlyn Woods, editted by Lauren JurczyszynFinding My Place On Campus: How I got plugged into student orgs and much more!