Getting Involved in the New Semester

The new school year is finally upon us here at the University, which means many things: questions about how to get involved on campus, available resources to help with success in class and the experience of living in a dorm with a roommate for the first time.

Jackie Giacalone, freshman who is living in Elmwood Hall, has mixed feelings about beginning her time here at the University. “Some things that I’m excited for are meeting new people, learning new things and just the overall experience of college,” said Giacalone. “But I’m nervous for the work load and time management,” she continued.

This is common for many new students because the workload is different from high school and will require students to manage their time carefully in order to keep up with classes.

There are many resources that can help when one is struggling in a class. One example is the Writing Center.

Dr. Susan Goulding, Chair of the English department at the University tells her students, “I strongly encourage use of the Writing Center. Even if the tutor did not take your (the student’s) specific course, he or she could adapt to the level that it is being taught whether it be lower or upper.”

This is especially important for freshmen composition classes since it is generally the first time students are made aware of this resource. Students are also beginning to see emails about other helpful resources such as one-on-one peer tutoring which can assist with a specific course that a student may have difficulty with. There are also academic orientations geared towards students’ majors.

Another issue that often arises is getting along with a roommate who a student has never met before. This can be a very challenging task for many, but sophomore Resident Assistant Elizabeth White has some helpful advice.

“When I met my roommate my freshman year it worked really well because we were able to live together with respect to individual needs such as space. While we did become close friends, it is more important to be able to live together and respect one another’s differences.”

In a couple of short weeks, the University will host its annual student involvement fair which provides the opportunity for students to get information on and join the many clubs and organizations on campus. With many options to choose from, it can be very tempting to get involved in everything.

Senior and Head Resident Advisor Rachel Conners offers these suggestions to students, “As far as involving yourself in clubs, activities or organizations in college, I think quality is better than quantity.”

Conners continued, “Monmouth has more than 75 different clubs and organizations for students to get involved in.”

She added that any student can be a general member in a few clubs, but being truly dedicated to the cause of one or two, and striving to be at every single event that is hosted or working your way up and becoming an executive board member is a bigget testament to a person’s character.

Conners said, “Individuals will all have different niches at college, and he or she just has to figure that out and then run with it!”

Some clubs and organizations that students can get involved in are Student Government Association, Student Activities Board, Residence Hall Association, International Students Club, Outdoors Club, 5678 Club, Glee Club, Major-based clubs, and Circle K. Intramural and club sports are also available to students.

The University will be hosting its annual involvement fair on Wednesday, September 18th from 2:30-4:30 pm outside the Rebecca Stafford Student Center. Students are welcome to come out and sign up for clubs and activities.

Photo taken by Casey Wolfe