The first weeks of a new school year always go by in a blur — moving to Moscow, meeting thousands of new people, starting classes.
During that time everyone who’s ever been a part of the Vandal family will offer loads of advice to new students — everything from professors to avoid to knowing what you’re drinking at a party.
But the one piece of advice you’ll hear more than any other is pretty simple: get involved.
Everyone from your Resident Assistant to your history 101 professor will tell you the same thing and it’ll start to sound repetitive. You’ll probably roll your eyes and move on with your life hoping that’s the last time you had to hear that line.
But the truth is they’re all right, and they shouldn’t stop saying it because it’s the best thing anyone will ever tell you in your four — or five, or six — years at the University of Idaho.
College is about stepping out of your comfort zone, meeting new people and trying new things. For a lot of UI students it would be easy to come to college and hang out with many of the same people you knew in high school. It would be easy to go to class and spend your free time playing video games or partying in a basement with the same people you’ve always known.
Many students will be afraid to try something new on their own and end up missing out on events they might have really enjoyed. It’s OK to go to a new club meeting without a friend by your side, and it’s OK to attend a cultural event without a plus one.
So don’t be afraid to branch out.
Get involved in the Greek system, meet everyone on your floor in the residence halls, join an academic club, play intramurals, talk to the people in your classes, volunteer, get a job, attend Vandal games, see a play, dance at a Vandal Entertainment sponsored concert or simply find a community where you feel welcome.
There’s even an entire department dedicated to helping students get involved — the appropriately named Department of Student Involvement is located in the Idaho Commons on the third floor.
In the end, it won’t be the activities that matter but the people you meet and the connections that will last far beyond your time as a student. These are the experiences you won’t regret.
So do something — do anything — and find what makes you proud to be a Vandal.