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Getting Involved at the Mount

Natalie Solano

mount st. mary's university campus

Coming into college is scary; as a freshman, I did not know how to get involved. In my first year, I assumed that college life is about going to class and returning to your dorm to do homework. While that will get you a high GPA, it might also block you from seeing the opportunities offered to you in college. While only focusing on school and not really getting involved, I began to feel a little unmotivated. Getting involved can also be very frightening because you must step out of your comfort zone and meet people. I used to think that it will be too much for a new college student to join clubs, but everything is at your disposal at a university. I found that there are particular clubs tailored to your interests. For example, if you are into event planning, then here at the Mount, you can join AMP and plan events for student activities every month.

So, how does someone take the initial step to get involved on our campus? The first step is to open your emails. Yes, we get a lot of them as Mount students; but believe it or not, many of them have pertinent information to our lives as students! I never thought that I would be interested in giving a tour here at the Mount because I see the campus every day, but it has become one of my favorite things to do through Mount Ambassadors. Some things may seem like something you may never do, or you may be indecisive about doing it. Why not just attend the interest meeting for that club and see if you are interested? The first step is just reading those emails and going to those interest meetings.

Once I joined clubs that I was interested in, I realized that everyone in a club serves a purpose. I started to meet new people, and I stayed committed. This can seem so hard to do over the top of schoolwork. But are we not all trying to build our resumes doing the things we love to do? Once I found my purpose, I felt very fulfilled here at the Mount.

The Mount as a community has no issues with making you feel at home when it comes to anything. Once I was involved, I was able to step into these leadership roles. Leadership roles got me prepared to work with other people as we do in the real world. The Mount offers so many opportunities to be a leader. You could join The National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) which is a club where you get to figure out what type of leader you are and have other motivational leaders motivate you. You can also start your own club. To become that leader, you must be ready and practice consistency. The beauty of the Mount is that you are known by your name, not a number. Showing consistency will only assert to the people around you that you are ready for the leadership role. Showing consistency looks like being present, turning in assignments on time, and doing whatever it is that leads you to do to your full potential. 

As easy as getting involved here at the Mount sounds, it can sometimes be difficult to juggle extracurriculars alongside coursework. Take it from me: I'm managing editor of the Mountain Echo, a cheer captain, and started the Women in Law club all while maintaining a full course load and preparing to take the LSAT. But college is about networking; you may be sitting near the people who may employ you in the near future or who you may be colleagues with, so why not try to treat this university as your start to your path? Leadership roles are treated as jobs to show people your potential as a student and a future leader. You can get passionate about these roles and these clubs you are joining and only improve your time here at the Mount.

As a senior, I only started to join clubs at the Mount last year. I can now say that is one of my biggest regrets. Clubs have motivated me to be more involved and meet new people but still handle schoolwork. Sometimes I struggle as any college student would, but the professors understand your struggles if you communicate with them early and often. If you do not feel like you are a part of a community, you must get up and make yourself part of the community because no one will do it for you. In my junior year, I started the club Women in Law to meet with other females who wanted to do law. I never knew over 50 females at the Mount wanted to go into law school just because I never tried to get involved in making a club like this sooner. So, we must be willing to expand outside of our comfort zones, meet new students, and  stay on top of courses. We must do this because we are building a life for ourselves after the Mount. Getting involved will only benefit your future self.

Natalie Solano