Searching for a home

Posted by Mathew

    As future college students, I’m sure you’ve all heard a great deal about the dormitory experience. You’ve probably wondered who your roommates will be, whether you’ll get along or fight, whether the dorm halls are really those wild and crazy centers of night life that they seem to be in movies (no, they aren’t). Being comfortable in your living space is certainly vital to a successful journey through college. However, there’s another sort of home that’s even more important: your community home.

    If you’re busy enough, you’ll hardly spend any of your free time in your dorm room. There’s too much to do in the outside world of UAF’s campus to restrict yourself to such a small and constrained area! Locking yourself into your room and never coming out is a terrible idea. You’ll end up like one of those guys who spent too much time in his remote cabin, then finally snapped and got featured in a local, small town newspaper as “that crazy man who thinks he’s a moose.”

    In short, your mind needs a home as much as your body. That’s why UAF offers such a wide variety of student clubs and organizations. In my time in Fairbanks, I’ve been spent at least some time in the UAF German Club, the Model United Nations, the Honors Student Advisory Council, the Associated Students of University of Alaska Fairbanks, and the Chordinated a capella group. Some of these I’m more active in than others, and some I don’t visit at all anymore. But they’ve all given me at least a temporary home, a way to express myself and to meet friends.

    Do you want to learn about your academic interests? Join the American Chemical Society, or the Wildlife Society, or the Anthropology Society, or the History Club, or any one (or two, or three) of the other clubs around. Do you want to get in touch with your religion? Play a sport, whether it’s volleyball or ultimate frisbee? Sing? Dance? Do community service? Get involved in politics? There’s a club for that.

    Even if you’re not looking for a club, get out and meet people! Remember, a stranger’s just a friend you haven’t made yet! UAF regularly hosts ice cream socials, barbecues, dances, and much more. Or, if crowds aren’t your thing, join in on one of the conversations or games in the Wood Center or any other social venue. You can even go on a trip with Outdoor Adventures, and make friends while hiking, kayaking, or enjoying any number of other outdoor activities.

    The point is to get involved. I’d encourage you to join some clubs, but maybe that’s not for everyone. Regardless, participating in UAF’s social events provides you with the opportunity to build a social support network that will lead to more fun in the future and help you make it through your semester now. Statistically, the more involved you get, the more likely you are to finish college! It’s not hard to find these events. Look for posters around campus (especially at the Wood Center), browse the club registry on the Wood Center website, or attend a student organization fair. Friend “UAF SAO” (Student Activities Office) or “UAF LIVE” (Leadership, Involvement, and Volunteer Experiences) on Facebook. Put yourself out there! You’ll meet awesome new people and enjoy amazing opportunities – for instance, the Model UN can send its members to a conference in New York City!

    However you choose to do it, I hope you’ll get involved in the UAF community. It’s a remarkable place, and I’m sure you’d love it!

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