What is normal? I keep asking myself this since the past couple of years have clouded my memory of what the world used to look like—going one hundred percent online in school to almost not having graduation to debating even going to college. 2020 is one for the record books, especially for the high school graduates.
I graduated in July of 2020, and the ceremony was supposed to be two months earlier than it happened. I am just grateful I was able to have a somewhat “traditional” in-person ceremony. As with others, I had to make a swift turnaround from walking across the stage to moving into Woods House, a residence hall here at Missouri State.
Needless to say, the Class of 2024 had an atypical first year of college. I almost stayed home and went online-only my first year or took a gap year before seeking higher education. Looking back, I am thankful for choosing to still move on-campus to a residence hall and actively participating in various student organizations this past year. I got a job at the Foster Recreation Center, joined Student Government Association, and became a member of the Fraternity and Sorority Life population.
I will say that amidst the COVID-19 global pandemic Missouri State University lead the charge in being able to still have some events safely, while keeping positive COVID-19 cases relatively low. Most classes were meeting in person on a regular basis and student organizations were holding events, with safety in mind. While I did not get the full first year experience like I hope to this fall, I am proud of how hard faculty, staff, and students still tried to get new students involved.
To first-year students and those going into their second year here at Missouri State, I want to challenge you to get involved on campus by doing three things:
1. Introduce yourself to one random person
2. Join at least one student organization
3. Look into employment options
When talking to a random person, try and find another new bear, find some shared interests, and have fun. It might seem like a daunting task, but it will be worth it. Missouri State has over three hundred student organizations for you to join!
Go to the Student Organization Festival during Welcome Week and find one that interests you. If you can’t attend that, head over to Campus LINK and browse all the organizations or create your own! And for employment, I recommend an on-campus job to start. Student employees have flexible hours, and your supervisor knows that academics come first.
Head over to jobs.missouristate.edu to find the perfect fit for you.
(Submitted by Drew Minnis – Sophomore | Department of Hospitality Leadership | 2021 SOAR Leader | Vice President of Operations | Social Fraternity | Director of Sustainability | Student Government Association | Member | Student Affairs Advisory Board | Building Manager | Foster Recreation Center)