Ever since I came to college, “busy” has been my middle name. My high school provided a limited number of activities, so all the opportunities on my small campus shocked me silly.
The biggest piece of advice I can give to any college student is to get involved in anything you are interested in. I found my niches on campus within the first few weeks and have embraced them ever since.
First, I love writing. My high school did not have a newspaper, so being encouraged to write for The Sandspur was a dream come true. I had always wanted to write for a paper, and this was my first opportunity. The experience has been a blast. I have learned a lot about myself and everything the Rollins College community has to offer. I remember jumping up and down with excitement when I collected the first copy of the paper with my articles published; it is invigorating to know that someone is actually reading what I write. As a staff writer during my first semester at college, I wrote more articles then anyone in the history of the paper. Now I am also an assistant section editor and have gotten to see the paper from the inside out.
Second, I love giving back to my community. As soon as I arrived at Rollins, I became involved in Join Us in Making Progress (JUMP), an organization that works with various non-profit organizations in and around Orlando. I am currently a member of the executive board working on marketing through social networking sights. It has been an amazing way to get involved in many different groups including Ronald McDonald House, Orlando SPCA, Give Kids the World, and Pathways to College.
On top of getting involved with the above two groups and countless other things, college has allowed me to found my own anti-social apathy organization. Promoting Action and Change Together has let me follow my own interests and figure out what I want to do with my life.
So, take advantage of your college or university. Take some time to explore your interests. Discover what you really enjoy and what you want to take from your college experience. Step out of the norm. Write for the newspaper. Volunteer. Join a sports team. Found a laughing club. Have a blast and figure out what you want to do with your life along the way.
Annamarie Carlson is a first year student at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida and an NSCS member. She’s active in many organizations on campus and holds the title of Assistant Section Editor for the campus newspaper, The Sandspur.