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Get Involved

Matt Gamber | Friday, August 20, 2010

Congratulations, freshmen: You’ve successfully moved into your dorm room and are inching ever closer to really beginning your college careers.

Now, you’re probably wondering what your first order of business should be on Sunday afternoon after you say goodbye to the family.

My advice? Join The Observer.

OK, so that was a bit presumptuous. As much as we’d love to have you, I’m not suggesting you all storm our offices as soon as the clock strikes midnight on your orientation weekend. And while I’d like to think many of you will end up working on our staff — and you’re all welcome to give it a shot — I realize the newspaper won’t be for everyone.

So, what I’m really suggesting is that you make it your top priority to get involved and stay involved.

Getting involved means something different for everyone. It can be as simple as eating dinner with your hallmates or as ambitious as starting your own club.

The Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s communities, and especially the people who comprise these communities, have so much to offer — that’s probably why you’re here today. Now, it’s up to you to make the most of those opportunities, and you can start by getting involved.

As freshmen, we were all nervous about our first day of classes. We all wondered how we’d get along with our roommates and our rectors. We were all excited for our first football game as students — yes, even the seniors, who endured a 3-9 record during our freshman year.

These certain uncertainties are part of what make the first few days and weeks of college so exciting. But they can also keep us so occupied that we feel like we can’t do anything else outside those daily commitments.

Surely we’re all here to be students first, but you all have unique interests and abilities that can help you make valuable contributions outside of the classroom. You may know exactly the clubs or activities where you’re going to make those contributions, but chances are you’re like I was, without a clue of what I wanted to do.

I’d strongly recommend going to activities night on Tuesday, where you’ll have the chance to reach out to upperclassmen involved in all sorts of organizations across campus. Sign up for anything that remotely interests you, and try to go to a few meetings or outings of a couple different organizations. Talk to the people in your dorms and ask what they do around campus — anything to expand your network and learn what your options are.

Of course, I hope this leads some of you to our offices in the basement of South Dining Hall for a reason other than trying to find where to get your student ID picture taken.

Either way, now that you’re settled, it’s time to get involved.