Every Friday, we’ll be highlighting some helpful information specifically for first-year students. Today we’re focusing on summer jobs and internships. You can view all the previous Freshman Friday posts here.
Becoming passionate about something aside from schoolwork can have effects that enrich your college experience and reverberate far beyond your college years. Doing something because you want to, not because you have to, can boost your self-esteem, help with time-management and give you that awesome “do-gooder” high. While it’s easy to feel overwhelmed in the first years of college, taking a few steps outside your comfort zone will pay off.
Here’s what a few students had to say about finding their passion early in college:
Paul Lee, senior at U of M and director of 58 Greene, an A Capella group on campus.
On finding his passion early in college…
“I auditioned for 58 Greene the first semester of my freshman year. I was definitely intimidated at first because I was new to college and the whole time management thing, but I grew attached to the people and the group. They became friends and family. “
On how being part of a group enriched his college years…
“If I had only focused on academics in college, I would not have enjoyed school as much as I did and still do. 58 Greene helped me to get away from schoolwork and balance the stress of college. It helped to be able to look forward to practice or performances. Though things did get busy at times, it added a necessary component to my life.”
On how his passion for 58 Greene will impact his future…
“Being a part of the group helped me develop two very important skills that I will use in my future. Firstly, as a leader in the group starting my junior year, I learned leadership skills which I think are important in almost any field. Secondly, I learned how to manage a group of very different, strongly opinionated people.”
Michael Maiorano, senior at U of M and director of Students for Educational Equality, a group which aims to provide opportunities for educationally disadvantaged students in the Detroit area.
On why he became passionate about the student group…
“I feel like a lot of times, you need to at least start with money in order to make a big difference, but this group allowed me to gather resources and make a big impact despite not having a lot of money. I feel like it was a blank slate that I could invest a lot of time and effort in, which is a great feeling.”
On how being involved in the group throughout college affected his college experience…
“Working with low SES (socio-economic status) students allowed me to see how many of the concepts I learn about in school play out in real life, so I was able to learn way more than I would have in the classroom alone. Also, I learned how to manage a relatively large-scale operation, which forced me to use time efficiently and become organized.”
On what he will take from the experience beyond college…
“I’ve learned a lot about people. I’ve seen that people are extremely fragile and sensitive to external influences. With this knowledge in mind, I hope to revisit the work I’ve done with SEE later down the road on a larger scale because I’ve seen the need for improvement in the way we structure our education system across different levels of society. I’d eventually like to be involved in bettering the system.”
Get out there and start exploring your passion! Whether that’s research, service, or student organization involvement, there’s a good chance you can find a way to do it right here on campus.
neilconway / CC BY 2.0