Finding Your Wildcat Family

26 Sep

I remember the night before my first day as a college student.  With my backpack ready and my class schedule printed out, I thought about how many friends I was going to make, all the new adventures I’d have, and, most importantly, how many clubs and organizations I’d be in. I was about to set off on a journey to find my own crazy, fun, and unique “Modern Family”.

Since I was living off-campus my freshmen year, I wanted to make sure I was as involved as possible so I felt like I was a part of the campus. In high school, I was in almost every club offered. I was president of my class, secretary of three clubs, and tutored Spanish three days out of the week. (Fun Fact: I don’t even speak Spanish, so I don’t even know how I qualified for that position.) When I look back on my high school years, those activities are what I remember most. I knew that going into college, if there was an opportunity to get involved, I took it! Then I heard the most magical words to ever come out of a UA student’s mouth: “There are over 500 clubs on campus.” My mind nearly exploded with pure excitement.

hyper

 

On the second day of school, I went to the involvement fair on the mall– tent after tent of brochures and posters of every club I could imagine.  The first club I found an interest in was very similar to my high school student council. So, I decided to apply. I went through the entire process of attending socials and interviews. After meeting the other applicants, there was no doubt that these people would be my “college buddies” and this club would be my new home.

But a couple of weeks later, I received a rejection letter. I was devastated. I saw the rejection letter as a message that I wouldn’t have a home on campus. I only had a couple of friends on campus from high school and they were already friends with the people in their hall or found a club. So, here I was. I was lost and didn’t know what to do next.

crying

After a few days (and an embarrassing number of phone calls with my mom), I picked myself up and decided to keep trying. I knew what kind of college experience I wanted and I was going to make it happen! I was more determined than Lily on her first day of kindergarten.

cantwaittolearn

I went on to ASUA’s website and looked at the list of clubs. Some clubs definitely weren’t for me, but I saw some that interested me. I narrowed it down and attended some club meetings.  None of my friends were interested, so I went alone. I was a very dependent person, so flying solo was something very difficult for me to do- but I took the leap!

I decided to try to join a club whose focus was helping animals. If you know anything about me, you know that I love our furry friends! This had to be my place; there was no question about it! But, lo and behold, it just didn’t work out. Of course I loved the puppies (who wouldn’t?), but I just didn’t seem to click with the members. This happened a few times as I tried different clubs. It was now a month into school and I was questioning if I was doing college the “right way”. 

 

ivedonenothing

 

I was discouraged, but I kept trying different clubs. Then, one day, I went to a club meeting and thought, “I could get into this”. I went to a second meeting the week after and then to a third. I started to love spending time with the people there. I quickly made friends and believed in what the club’s goals were. At the time, I had no idea that these people would be the defining aspect of my college career, but soon enough, we were Gloria and Cam:

friends

I’m currently in my junior year and have an officer position in the club. I can wholeheartedly say that the club members are some of my best friends and they are totally invited to my future wedding (#isthatweird). It was a difficult road to find my place on campus, but when I finally found it, I knew it was perfect for me.

Going through this journey at the beginning of my freshman year taught me that everyone has their place, but it’s up to you to take the leap and find it! Sure, some of my high school friends found a place to fit in by the end of the first week. I didn’t find my home until about Week 6, but I FOUND IT! I tried and I tried and I finally found it. Just like the characters in Modern Family, we’re quirky, weird, and somehow found each other in unusual ways, but we love each other always. Even today, I feel like my Wildcat family was made just for me and I still cannot believe how lucky I am to have them in my life. So, I share this message to you: It doesn’t matter how late it is in the semester or how late it is in your college career, there is a place for you on our campus. All you need to do is take the leap and find your Wildcat Family.

thumbsup

 

–Briana

 

P.S.  Here’s the second part of the Lily’s “Can’t wait to learn!” GIF, because it’s hilarious. I laugh every time.

cantwaittolearn2

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