High school seniors look at college and focus on clubs and organizations that align with their major, and that’ll help them get into the right programs and med schools. They haven’t even begun college, and they’re already narrowing down their opportunities. These 18-year olds are limiting themselves only to options that’ll benefit them in their future career.
A majority of incoming college freshman have this perspective. However, the number within this category dwindle as the years progress.
You have those that stick with the one-track mind and graduate with everything under their belt that they need for success in their professions.
And then you have those that ventured beyond their major or career path.
Personally, I like to have a mixture of both.
I came from a small school, less than 1,000 students between grades 6 – 12, so I was a bit overwhelmed entering college. Here are all these options and opportunities laid out in front of me, there for the taking. All I had to do was sign up and attend the informational meetings to join most clubs.
Obviously, I longed to join the English Association, which I did, but I also wanted to venture out of my apparent choices.
I also joined Relay for Life in my freshman year of college.
However, I struggled with acclimating to college life and ended up creating excuses not to leave my dorm room unless it was to be with my boyfriend at the time. This led me to not participating pretty much at all in any meetings for my extra-curricular activities.
Becoming a recluse limited me not only in branching out of my comfort zone but also hindered me in making friends.
I don’t regret looking back at my freshman year. I realized my mistakes, and I made an effort to integrate myself more into Boston College’s student body.
I joined the knitting club and rejoined the Relay for Life organization, fully participating in my sophomore year.
I applied and was accepted into the Marketing committee for Relay for Life. There, I created posters for any announcements of any upcoming events or fundraisers. These fundraisers typically took place on campus or in the surrounding neighborhoods.
It was such an exciting experience. I was finally meeting people with similar interest and fighting for a cause that has a place very close to my heart.
Finally branching out allowed me to get out of my shell. Joining a club and an organization had me meeting people with different majors and different backgrounds.
I’m happy with the progress made between freshman and sophomore year. However, I hope I can continue branching out during my junior year.
I’m debating whether to audition for the theatre club or for an acapella group. I might get into the option that I choose, or I might not. Yet, I’ll be happy either way because I know that at least I’ve tried.
This is what success looks like to me.
Success is about coming out of your comfort zone. Learning and trying new things might show you a side of yourself that you didn’t even know existed until that moment.
Who knows, maybe if I take the theatre route, I’ll come to find out that I love it and have a real passion for it.
I just feel that success is about branching out and dabbling new adventures. To me, it’s about trying out new paths. At the end of the day, coming back to your goal, without living with regrets knowing you’re happy and satisfied.
Obviously, I didn’t do much of branching out my freshman year. But I did make more of an effort in putting myself out there by taking on more responsibility in Relay for Life. And I will continue through this progression until my graduation day.
Success, understandably, isn’t a straight line. It’s about progress and making mistakes, but also learning from those mistakes and pushing forward. Success is happiness by limiting the number of regrets one might have in life.