Bearkats: Get up, Get Out

In the next couple weeks, the semester will begin to wrap up and wind down, both through classes with finals and final projects, and extracurricular activities, with final editions/broadcasts/meetings. I, personally, absolutely cannot wait until May, when I’m free of the bulk of my undergrad and finally have a couple days to myself.

It has definitely been a long four semesters at Sam Houston, but I refuse to regret most of it, accepting the good with the bad. I did not necessarily come to SHSU with high hopes or ambitions of accomplishing great things, but I somehow managed to squeak by a few points to be proud of in the future. The secret? Getting involved.

Classes really do not take up as much time as they should, as hard as professors try with extra papers and assignments. Face it, by your junior year, most get pretty good at what their major is, and it stops being so gosh darn hard. Plus, some things career-wise just cannot be simulated in a classroom, like newsroom deadlines.

I strongly encourage any bored Bearkats out there to try something new out – join a club, lend your skills to on-campus media, volunteer somewhere or work nearby. There is a whole world on campus after hours, one missed by everybody living elsewhere or merely locked in their apartments until Shenanigans opens. It is so easy to go out and make a difference, whether by leading a group to new heights or making a single person’s day with a good deed.

Believe it or not, the actions of a single student can indeed make a difference on campus, and there are quite a few ways to do it. The Student Government Association is one particularly efficient method to work towards improvement and get your voice out. The television station or newspaper can get your voice heard, through reporting or writing or just helping out with story ideas. Joining a fraternity or sorority can help you build an instant community and contribute in a bundle of ways. Pay a little attention and you can hear the same few voices beaming loud and clear over student’s heads, and you may also notice that those voices often have listeners, especially professionally or in the administration.

Even something as innocuous as making friends with a professor can do a world of good. Believe it or not, most of them are pretty intelligent, and several of them have handy skills or connections. Most importantly, professors who know you as a student occasionally let “oopsies” by (I’ve had a few epic ones of my own, and have been saved a couple times by understanding professors and a nearly spotless personal record). Plus, some of them are just plain cool.

Let’s be real for a second: sitting in your apartment drinking beer and watching sportscenter won’t help you change the world, but getting out and working with groups on campus is a darn good place to start. So, what holds you back?

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