The Fear of Failure

Hi.

My name is Bertha Kim and I am a failure.

If you scroll through my Instagram or read my resume, it might look like my life is a series of fun-filled over-achievements: I am the vice president of a sorority, senator for Ohio State’s Undergraduate Student Government, I have two jobs, and I’m on the Dean’s list at a top ranked, prestigious university. I am a girl with many friends and a supportive family, who has fun adventures and likes to travel. This is probably not who you think of when you think FAILURE.

However, I am a failure.

Since I was a young child, I have always hated failing but somehow still managed to fail consistently. I kept seeing red “X’s” next to my spelling test during elementary school and could never beat my friends in Super Mario Bros. To be honest, failing has always made me feel embarrassed and I felt this pressure to avoid it at all costs. As I got older, I realized this pressure I felt was a combination of failing and the fear of not wanting to fail.

As a high school senior, I was (what I considered to be) a failure. I wasn’t the school’s valedictorian and I got rejected from my dream university. I remember late nights of staying up, thinking what I could’ve done better to reach those aspirations and feeling anxious that I would always be a failure.

Then came college. I never knew that there were so many different aspects of failing until I got here! I knew that it was academically challenging at Ohio State, but let me tell you, freshman year general chemistry is rough. I remember receiving my first ever F — flat out less than a 50% — on an exam. College was hard and once again, those feelings of failure crept in.

Just when I thought it couldn’t get worse, I then failed when it came to being social and finding a friend group. Coming from out-of-state, I knew no one at this enormous university. At first I thought that I could easily make friends, only to find out that I am actually super awkward. It was hard for me to find that “group of friends” but for some reason it felt as if everyone else found theirs. The first couple of months I realized I was failing at the social aspect of college, which then led me to stop trying.

I was too afraid to join any clubs or get involved on campus because I feared that it would be uncomfortable and that I couldn’t make any friends that way either. The fear of failure got in the way of my ambitions and my freshman year schedule looked something similar to this:

Class

Eat

Nap

Study

Sleep

I just couldn’t live like that for another year. Luckily, I realized this before it was too late and I still had time to change my attitude and get the most out of my college experience. I applied to internships and got involved with clubs to make the most out of my college years. Freshman year was such a tiring year for me and I constantly felt like a failure. I was someone with big dreams and it was time for me to face my failures and make those dreams a reality.

Fast forward two years and here I am now: a student who is doing well and involved at a huge campus. However, the fear of failure is still lurking over me daily. As I wrap up my junior year, I am preparing to take the MCAT and apply to medical school. Because I am petrified of failing again, I find myself returning to my old mindset of giving up before I even try. I have skipped MCAT classes just to ponder in my bed, wondering what would happen if I confronted my fears. Even as I write this, I feel like a failure and it’s getting in the ways of my dreams.

Sounds terrible, doesn’t it? Simply speaking, this is not how one would want to live life. Life is hard, and I have to come realize that failing is a very real part of it. So breathe. I know it’s so much easier said than done, but listen: it does get better. I have learned that your fears do not define who you are and that whatever stage in life you happen to be in, there will always be  the very real fear of failing.

I usually don’t have the greatest of advice, but I do advise each and every one of you reading this to find an outlet when you feel like you are drowning in your “failures.” That might be dancing to a good song (highly recommend dancing it out to Chance the Rapper) or going on a good run…for me it was talking to a therapist. Whatever destresses you, go do it!

I still struggle with these fears from time to time, but I try to just accept my failures. What makes me special and beautiful is that I’m me and no failure can stop that. So yes, I still fail and I will always fail at things, but it won’t and can’t get in the way of what I want to do with my life.

I’m Bertha Kim, a failure, but also a girl with a lot dreams who’s ready to tackle them with deep breaths and a smile on her face.

I’ll end this blog with a quote of one of my favorite people…

“When you take risks you learn that there will be times when you succeed and there will be times when you fail, and both are equally important.” -Ellen DeGeneres.

When Your First Year Doesn’t Go as Planned

You had high hopes for your first year at Ohio State, but it’s probable some facet of your experience has fallen short of or been different from your original expectations. As second semester is wrapping up, you may be facing a few questions and concerns.

I was used to getting good grades in high school. What happened?

College is much different from high school in terms of academic expectations, the ways you are tested, and professor-student relationships. It is important not only to recognize these differences, but to take actions that will help you succeed in this new and more challenging learning environment.

The emphasis in college is more on the application of the material you are learning rather on the material itself. While taking an exam, you may find yourself thinking, “We didn’t go over how to do this problem in class!” Panic mode usually ensues and you get upset at the professor for doing such a thing. In reality, not much changes throughout college and even into the working world. This style of testing forces you to leverage what you do know and apply it to something you may have never seen before; it is a tough transition at first, but gets easier the more you learn how you study best (and how you “studied” in high school is likely not how you should be studying in college).

You also may have been used to having immediate and easy access to your teachers in high school; now, if you want help, you need to seek it out yourself. Gone are the days of exams that are just like the study guide. I can’t emphasize enough how valuable office hours can be if you do not understand material you have been going over in class or want to gain insight into what topics your professor finds most important in terms of testing. It may be difficult to believe, but your professors want you to succeed.

If you have not recieved the grades you were expecting, I know it can be discouraging, but believe me when I say, “It is okay!” The issue is not your intelligence or maybe even your effort; it is likely that you have not made the transition from the high school mentality towards education to the college mentality. What can you do about it?

  • Use a planner or electronic calendar (I use Google Calendar) to plan out when you will study/work on homework for each week
  • Take study breaks and be conscious of your engagement level.
  • Don’t cram. Try to keep up with material as you are going through it in class.

 

I tried to get involved but I haven’t found the meaningful involvement I thought I would.

There is often a period of feeling like the “new guy” when you begin coming around to different organizations, but the more you go, the more people you begin to recognize and get to know, and the more friends you begin to make in that organization. Eventually, you will start to feel like it is a place you belong if you are patient and make it through that initial adjustment period.

It certainly helps to try and find organizations that align with your values, goals, or views on life as it becomes a place in which you feel refreshed and encouraged. I did not begin feeling like I truly found opportunities that helped me grow as an individual and feel as if I was integrated into the community until my second year.

During my first year, I went through huge changes in terms of what role my faith played in my life. It became my everything and so naturally, I got involved with a church on campus called H2O where I could continue to grow, learn, and be a part of an extremely caring community that can be fully empathetic toward my struggles and frustrations with life, with full understanding of my world view. This is not me saying that diversity of opinions in your life is to be avoided; rather, I’m emphasizing the importance of having support from a community that understand where you are coming from.

  • BE PATIENT. We all need to get over our culturally-imposed need for immediate gratification and be patient.
  • Figure out what you really care about in life, then sort through what types of organizations you may be interested in.
  • Deeply invest yourself in people and community. You probably won’t get much out of organizations if you view them as if they exist to serve you.
  • You are a Buckeye and you have a home at Ohio State. Finding that is the challenge, but it’s worth investing the time and energy to find it.

I still have no idea what I want to major in.

You are not alone! I changed my major in my second year. It happens. Focus on what you want your life to be about and how you want to use it, then work backwards and seek out opportunities in which you can contribute toward that purpose through your career. This summer is a good time to do some soul searching.

  • Reflect but know there’s no right answer. You will gain better direction as you get exposed to what is really out there through out your college career. Don’t be afraid to take opportunites to learn about new things.
  • A. W. Tozer’s Rules for Self-Discovery:
    • What we want most
    • What we think about most
    • How we use our money
    • What we do with our leisure time
    • The company we enjoy
    • Who and what we admire
    • What we laugh at

College is a huge time for personal growth but that doesn’t  happen if you do everything perfectly. Know that most people–including me–still struggle with these very same issues. I’ve found it helps to view college as a time to learn and develop your values, beliefs, and what truly interests you in life; the rest has a way of falling into place.

Unpack your bags: Settling down at Ohio State

Spring break is over and finals are in sight, which means your first year is almost over. So, now what? About this same time during my first year I had the opportunity to attend a retreat with a student organization I am involved in on campus. At the end of the retreat the director gave a very powerful message about how as the first year was coming to a close and it was time for first years to settle down and “unpack their bags.” After spending a year exploring various options for involvement, if they had felt they had found their place in this group it was now time to settle down and dive deeper into the organization to provide the next generation of leadership for the group.

Bags

It’s no secret that the success of a student organization is often due to strong leadership from upper class students. Thus, it is crucial for the next group of students to step up to take on leadership roles and dive deeper into the organization. That’s not to say that you should take on leadership roles in every organization; instead, you should think about stepping up to lead in areas where you feel passionate. I am a firm believer that stepping up to lead does not necessarily mean that you have to have an official leadership title or position, but that you lead by example. For me, there were two juniors that I met during my first year who did not have any official position of leadership in our student organization, but to me they were two of the strongest leaders because they led by their examples. They went above and beyond to make me feel welcome and a part of the group. As a result of their example, I have worked to do the same for the students who are coming after me. Being devoted and a consistent member who is fully present is sometimes the most significant way to contribute.

As you think about areas where you may want to dive deeper and “unpack your bags” make sure that you evaluate WHY you are doing it. As a college student, I understand the temptation to take on a positional leadership role simply so you can list it on your resume. If that is your motivation to take on a leadership role, I urge you to think twice about the role. Work to find something you are truly passionate about, you believe in, and that excites you. If you are passionate about what you are doing, it will be easier to be motivated to do a good job. If you don’t care about the organization or your position, you will likely struggle to stay motivated in the role.

While some may have found a niche on campus where they feel they belong and can call home, it’s alright if you haven’t! As my first year came to a close I still wasn’t 100 percent sure where I belonged and I continued to explore a few involvement opportunities at the start of my second year. I think it is much more important to find meaningful involvement than just any involvement, so if it takes a little longer to find the perfect place, that is okay!

Life After Formal Sorority Recruitment: The Social and Financial Realities

Bid Day is the final day of the exhausting, two-week formal recruitment process. Not only is Bid Day the end of recruitment, it is also the beginning of a whirlwind experience that is joining a sorority. It is the first day in the journey of becoming an initiated, life-long member of a national organization. If you are like me and signed up for formal sorority recruitment on a whim–without any family members who had ever participated–you are probably feeling completely overwhelmed in the weeks following Bid Day.
bid day

I began thinking about signing up for sorority recruitment during my first semester when I felt nostalgic and missing my girlfriends from home, who I had spent endless hours with rehearsing and performing. It occurred to me that a sorority might be a way for me to replicate that community of girlfriends that I cherished. I loved high school because of friendships with older girls I admired and then becoming that person who younger girls looked up to. In other words, I wanted to be someone’s little, and then be someone’s BIG.

That right there was the extent to which I thought through the decision to sign up for sorority recruitment. I didn’t ask questions about how much it cost. I didn’t ask questions about the new member process. I was completely unprepared for being a member of the Greek Community.

What I wish I had known as a first-year student going Greek:

The Costs

According the most recent data, the average new sorority member will pay $1,280 per semester.

  • $1,280 x 7 semesters = nearly $9,000 over the course of four years
  • I need to earn $80/week during the 16-week semester to pay for it
  • Some chapters have payment plans and additional scholarships – for example, my friend washes dishes to help pay dues.
  • The reality: The majority of students are not paying their Greek life dues on their own. There is limited socioeconomic diversity.

Financial barriers

Our campus should be sensitive to the fact that access to participating in Greek life is limited to those who can pay for it. If you have a friend who may really have wanted to try Greek life, but cannot afford it:

  • Only 11% of Ohio State is Greek! Encourage your friend to seek out involvement that provides a similar community – you can find incredible friends in other student organizations.
  • Invite her to hang out with your friends in your sorority. My best friend from freshman year did not go Greek but I take her as my date to different functions and she was always welcome at my sorority house.
  • Be careful with how you paint your experience and be aware of your friend’s feelings. It’s important to share the exciting moments as well as the overwhelming ones. A sorority experience is not a perfect one.

columbus half

The realities of sisterhood

  • A sisterly bond is stronger than friends, right? That bond does not form overnight. You become sisters with 100 girls and getting to know them takes time. It might take a whole semester just to learn names. Be patient. I wasn’t sure if Greek Life would be for me until my sophomore year when my sisters became some of my best friends.
  • Go to your new member meetings! The New Member educator’s primary responsibility is to care about your transition to the sorority. The New Member educator cares that you feel comfortable–talk to them.
  • Not everyone who goes Greek drinks alcohol. In fact, it is an expectation that as a member, you act responsibly and represent your chapter well. There is a team of sober monitors to enforce the rules at every event with alcohol present. In my sorority, the other sober monitors dress up in ridiculous outfits like footie pajamas! If you feel pressure to drink to make friends, or feel that a majority of the experience is drinking, talk to your chapter advisors and executive board.
  • It’s unrealistic to think you are going to be best friends with every girl in your chapter…or even want to be. This is where that sister component comes in. Sorority sisters should value each individual and respect them regardless if you like them.
  • The reasons you join are different than the reasons you stay. Look out for the reasons that make your sorority a really positive influence in your life.

Lastly, keep in mind that sororities that fall under PHA are just one branch of Greek life. Members of multicultural Greek organizations, academic Greek organizations, and fraternity men go through this transition into their chapters as well. No branch of Greek life is better than any other; support and honor your fellow Greeks!

 

pl greek

 

Ohio State Spotlight: The Application for Special Scholarships

Recently I had the chance to talk with Ellen S. who works in Student Financial Aid, specifically with Special Scholarships. She was able to provide me with answers to my questions as well as give me some advice on certain things that they like to see on the application.

What is it?

The Special Scholarships application enables Ohio State students to be considered for several thousands of special-eligibility scholarships that encompass a wide variety of eligibility criteria. The application is also free, just like the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

How many scholarships are offered?

Thousands upon hundreds of scholarships.

What do I need to do to apply?

First, access the application through the Student Financial Aid website. Students are encouraged to fill out both their FAFSA and the Application for Special Scholarships by the priority date of February 15.

The application asks basic questions regarding a student’s activities and affiliations, family information, and diversity. It also asks for a personal statement. [Cue dramatic music]

I’m only a freshman–How could I ever have enough to write a personal statement?

Don’t panic: the Financial Aid office understands that by the time this application is due, first-year students have been in college for less than a year. While it’s okay to highlight personal accomplishments from high school, take some time to reflect back on your first year and the things that make you proud. Maybe you can write about a professor that you’ve gotten a chance to know better, or about some affiliations–student organizations, religious groups, residence hall, etc.–that you have on campus.

The personal statement prompt has no structure or format but does require that you stick to the 900-word limit. The application gives students some prompts to get your started, but you are not required to stick to those. Make sure to talk about some things that you can bring to the Ohio State community, as well as some of the struggles that you’ve had to overcome. It is recommended that you complete your personal statement in a Word document or similar software that can be copied and pasted into the application text box; if the application timer (found at the bottom of the application page) runs out, your response will not be saved.

Common mistakes to avoid?

NOT CHECKING YOUR SPELLING AND GRAMMAR!

In a world where everyone is more text-savvy, it’s easy to forget how to properly use certain words and punctuation. Make sure to have someone proofread your work before submitting any of your essays. You can check the Writing Center’s walk-in hours in Thompson Library to get some quick feedback on your writing.

Having an “okay” personal statement

The personal statement is where you need to shine. When talking about how a scholarship can help you, an “alright” answer would be “College is expensive.” A better way to answer this question is to take some time to reflect on how a scholarship can help to alleviate some of the stresses in your life , or how it can help you accomplish some of your long-term goals.

I hope this has inspired you to get started on your Special Scholarships application! Financial Aid wants to award as many of its scholarships to as many students as possible, so take some time–winter break is a terrific option–to complete your application by February 15!

Check Your Wellness

Whenever we run into someone we know, often the first question is, how are you doing? The standard reply is usually along the lines of good, fine, well, etc. Do you ever stop to think about it and answer honestly? I know I normally don’t.

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Ohio State’s Student Wellness Center splits wellness into 9 dimensions and there are many resources at Ohio State and in Columbus you can use to improve your wellness:

Emotional Wellness–Do you express your emotions in a healthy way? Can you identify your feelings?

Counseling and Consultation Service (CCS)–Free to students! CCS helps with stress management, anxiety, depression, relationship problems, life transitions, identity exploration, substance use, eating concerns, feeling overwhelmed, and academic adjustments.

Career Wellness–This can be about your job, your major, or your involvement. Do you enjoy the work you put into everything?

Career Counseling and Support Services (CCSS)–CCSS can assist with “personal concerns related to career decision making, clarification of career goals, exploration of career/major options, and guidance in development of necessary tools (resumes, cover letters, interviewing, personal statements).”

Dennis Learning Center–Can help with academic motivation, time management, and strategies for self-regulation, test-prep, test-taking, note-taking, and reading through academic classes they offer, one-on-one appointments, and workshops.

Tutoring Resources – Math, Physics, and Chemistry tutoring happens in both Younkin and the residence halls. The Math and Statistics Learning Center has tutoring for math and statistics classes. The General Chemistry Learning Resource Center has tutoring hours for general chemistry courses. The Department of Physics has tutoring hours for physics courses. The Economics Learning Center has peer tutoring. If you need help with a writing assignment The Writing Center and MARS (Mobile Assistance with Research Students) is available! When in doubt, talk to your professor or TA!

Social Wellness–Do you have a support system built on trust and respect? Are you sensitive and aware towards the feelings of others?

Have fun with friends, new and old–Dtix has a lot of discounts for cool places in Columbus. Ask people if they want to go to a Blue Jackets game, grab some Jeni’s, or go to Skyzone! Try to get people from your floor to go see one of the OUAB Flicks for Free on Wednesday nights or sing like nobody’s listening at karaoke night in Woody’s (the remaining karaoke night themes are Boy Bands, Taylor Swift, and Buckeye Spirit)!

Get Involved–Try going to different student organization meetings. All of the organizations are listed online where you can sort through by type and it has their contact information in case you have any questions!

Spiritual Wellness–This doesn’t have to relate directly to your religious (or non-religious) beliefs. Do you seek harmony and balance by  exploring the depth of human purpose, meaning, and connection? Maybe service is how you seek that balance.

Pay It Forward–Volunteer around Columbus with other Ohio State students!

Physical Wellness–Do you get an adequate amount of sleep, eat well, engage in exercise for 150 minutes per week, attend regular medical check-ups, and practice safe and healthy sexual relations?

The Student Wellness Center–Online resources can be found at link. You can sign up for a free nutrition counseling session on their site as well.

Group Fitness–Check out the group fitness classes offered by Ohio State.

Student Health Services–Schedule an appointment to get a flu shot or a check up. Complete your vaccination paperwork!

Financial Wellness–Are you aware of your finances? Can you manage them?

Scarlet and Gray Financial–Have a one-on-one meeting with a peer financial coach to learn more about banking, budgeting, and goal setting.

Intellectual Wellness–Do you try to learn new things and expand your worldview?

Ohio State and Columbus events–Dtix has tickets for different performances. The Wexner Center for the Arts has documentaries, artist talks, and performances. Ohio State’s Multicultural Center hosts events throughout the semester. Embrace your interests and your curiosity!

Creative Wellness–Do you value and seek out a range of arts and cultural experiences?

Off the Lake Productions–This is a student-run musical theater group at The Ohio State University who have multiple performances throughout the year. Get involved or just enjoy the show!

Search out events in Columbus and Ohio State–Dtix has tickets to concerts and performances throughout the semester. Explore the exhibits at the Wexner. Venture out to see local bands! Create something yourself. Whatever interests you, expand on that.

Environmental Wellness–Do you want to improve the environment? Do you appreciate the connection between nature and individuals?

Adventure Trips and Clinics – Go enjoy the outdoors with other Ohio State students! Or just chill on the Oval or visit a local park if that’s what you like.

Everyone’s wellness is different. The Student Wellness Center has an online assessment for you to assess your own. They also provide Wellness Coaching, a free service helps you become aware regarding your capacity to create the life you want to live, both now and in the future.

A Southern Buck-I-SERV Spring Break

Your first spring break in college… we’ve all been there at one point or another. Was it as fun as you expected? Did you meet any new people? Is reality hitting you hard in the face because of how awesome it was?

If you would have asked me what I was doing for spring break in December, I probably would have said something along the lines of “I’m going to the Bahamas with my friends,” however, I did something else and it was an AMAZING experience. First year or not, listen up when I say that Buck-I-SERV at Ohio State is such a rewarding organization and I encourage everyone to participate in at least one before you graduate.

Wondering why?

I was asked to be a trip leader for a trip to Mullens, West Virginia, during spring break. When first asked I was kind of skeptical; I mean, why Mullens? Of course I learned more information about the destination.

Mullens is a town in southern West Virginia that is experiencing many hardships at the moment. You see, Mullens used to be a town where things happened. Downtown was booming and there were many residents. In recent years, residents  are finding a lack of jobs, which leads to the younger generations leaving the town.

Mullens is a great little town, it reminds me of my own little hometown. Everyone knows one another and everyone is SO FRIENDLY. It was so nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of schoolwork and the city for a while. I didn’t know how much I was missing nature (or the woods) until I stayed in Twin Falls State Park. The scenery, the hills, the trees, the waterfalls — everything about it was gorgeous.

There were six of us, including our advisor. It was a tiny group, but we had SO MUCH FUN. We were able to volunteer at the Mullens Opportunity Center (otherwise known as the MOC). They actually had a pretty horrible flood the week before we got there, so a lot of our work was to help with the outdoor cleanup.

We worked with students from the University of Baltimore (they were awesome, by the way) the entire week. We shoveled up the fallen dirt to rebuild the hillside by a river behind the MOC, we filled in holes in the concrete with gravel, but our biggest project was the High Tunnel.

You see, the MOC is an awesome place. This opportunity center holds workshops for the residents of Mullens that can help them in nearly all aspects of life. They have a workout room, a lawyer’s office, line dancing, a computer lab where individuals can earn their GED and SO many other programs. They also have fitness programs going on, where individuals can keep track of how many laps they took around the gym and the activity they’re involved in. If that wasn’t awesome enough, they hand out prizes to the person who completed the most that week. LIKE COME ON THAT’S CRAZY COOL.

One of the MOC’s coolest projects, in my opinion, is their Farm to School campaign. Basically, this campaign is to try and get local farmers to grow fruits and vegetables for the schools in the county. Eventually, they would like each school to have their own High Tunnel to grow produce for the community. (A high tunnel is a fancy word for a greenhouse, in case you’re wandering, as I was.) We worked on constructing this and getting top soil and compost for the beds. By the time we were leaving they were working on the roof.

Hands down, this trip was such a blast. The workers at the MOC were so thankful we had decided to come and showed us so much love. It was an amazing experience.

One of the last nights we were there, we had a campfire with the University of Baltimore where a local orator told us stories about the town’s history and scary stories. We roasted marshmallows and listened to a delightful woman sing. It is so nice knowing that we helped make a difference.

I love the little town of Mullens, and I want them to thrive. I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to spend the week with some new friends, make some memories, and help make a difference. If you ever have the chance to go on a Buck-I-SERV trip, GO. I promise you will love it.

Scarlet Scramble is Back

Did you know University Hall is the real building used as Hollis College in Pretty Little Liars? Or that the first Wendy’s restaurant ever opened was in Columbus? Do you think you can eat a stack of Sloopy’s pancakes faster than anyone else? Then boy do I have an event for you — Scarlet Scramble 2015 is here!

So what is Scarlet Scramble?

It’s a 24-hour campus and city adventure that includes challenges, trivia questions, and clues to decode. Teams compete from 6 p.m. on March 27 to 6 p.m. on March 28 to earn points and win prizes (like Amazon and HOMAGE gift cards). The Scramble is brought to you by First Year Experience, and each team should have at least five first year students, but can have up to five other students (non first-years) too.

You know you want a new HOMAGE shirt.

You know you want a new HOMAGE shirt.

I participated in my first Scarlet Scramble my freshman year and have helped plan it the last two years. It is one of my favorite events on campus because not only do you get a sweet T-shirt just for signing up, you also get to run around campus with your friends, learn something new while you’re doing it, and compete for prizes! Plus you end up with some pretty cool pictures like these.

TBT to Scarlet Scramble 2013

TBT to Scarlet Scramble 2013

TBT to Scar Scram 2014

TBT to Scarlet Scramble 2014

To learn more about #ScarScram2015, check out the video below!

Registration is open until March 9. To sign up for the best time of your life visit fye.osu.edu/scarletscramble.

See you March 27!

It’s Not Too Late to Join a Student Org!

After already completing your first semester at Ohio State, some of you may feel it is too late to get involved on campus.

While some students get involved right away, many students choose to focus on their classwork when they first come to school, and choose not to have outside distractions. With all of the changes and adjustments, your first semester is often more overwhelming than many would assume.

While some dive in with full force, many choose to test the water first!

After the rush of Welcome Week, and the fall and spring involvement fairs, you may fear it is pointless or too late to join an organization partway through the year. However, it is not too late take that jump!

girl-on-diving-board-1

As a matter of fact, many organizations are still seeking or recruiting members! We’ve talked to a few organization leaders from across campus who can provide a bit more information about some of these available and awesome opportunities.

 

I. American Association of University Women

Name: Cassidy Horency

Status: Currently seeking new members

We are a new organization on campus and this is only our second semester, so we are looking for more people! It’s part of a national organization and members can apply for scholarships and grants through it. We usually have pizza. It’s better late than never to join an organization.

II. Buck-I-Serv

Name: Allie Loughry

Status: Currently seeking new members

First-year students should apply for a summer Buck I Serv trip because it’s a great way to give back to the community, spread the Buckeye spirit and meet new people!

III. DanceSport

Name: Jessica Gregory

Status: Currently seeking new members

It’s a great way to meet new people and meet people with similar interests. Members can benefit from this organization because you learn how to dance tons of different ballroom dances and can take your new skills to places around Columbus like La Fogata, which has salsa dancing nights. We are constantly growing and looking for new members.

IV. Delta Sigma Phi fraternity

Name: Alec Wuorinen

Status: Currently seeking new members

Great way to meet new people (lots!) and learn great things about yourself. With more friendships comes greater diverse connections!

V. Institute of Industrial Engineers

Name: Gunnar Smyth

Status: Currently seeking new members

All Industrial Engineering students should join because we go to both the regional and national conference to meet other IEs, learn about the major, and connect you to job opportunities. Leadership positions are available.

VI. John Glenn Civic Leadership Council

Name: Andy Krupin

Status: Currently seeking new members

We host a wide range of meeting activities! There’s something for everyone. Between current events jeopardy and different service projects, the CLC is a great way to learn about your community and make a difference in it, too. The more people we have, the bigger potential impact we can make.

VII. Muslim Students Association

Name: Yousef Yacoub

Status: Currently seeking new members

If you’re a Muslim or interested in Islam, I definitely recommend coming to our weekly general body meetings on Fridays at 6 p.m. in the Interfaith Room on the 3rd floor of the Union, where we host world-renowned Islamic scholars to learn more about the Islamic faith.

VIII. Ohio Staters, Inc.

Name: Joanie Garcia

Status: Currently seeking and recruiting new members

Ohio Staters, Inc. is the oldest student service organization on campus that promotes the welfare and traditions of the university. This org. helps connect students with the deep roots of the university and network with faculty while creating a close community of thinkers, believers, and doers.

IX. Phi Alpha Delta

Name: Leila Khamees

Status: Currently seeking new members

It’s specifically for people interested in law (it’s a pre-law fraternity). We learn if law school is for us, how to apply, what to expect on the LSAT and in law school. Also, we all become super close and have tons in common!

X. Phi Delta Epsilon: Pre-med fraternity

Name: Jenna Murray

Status: Currently recruiting new members (in the fall)

Phi Delta Epsilon is always looking for new members who want community and support through the pre-med process. Meet people who have taken similar classes, form study groups, and be friends!

XI. Psychology Student Ambassadors

Name: Myra Saeed

Status: Currently recruiting new members (for fall)

They should apply to Psych Ambassadors early this semester if they’re psych majors because we do a lot of working with incoming freshmen and program a lot of social and educational events. Also, we’re super tight with the department and that’s awesome!

XII. UNICEF-OSU (United Nations Children’s Fund)

Name: Caroline Tritt

Status: Currently seeking new members

This is a fantastic organization if you’re interested in children’s rights. We educate, advocate, and fundraise on behalf of the U.S. fund for UNICEF to help children in over 190 countries receive an education, get clean drinking water and nutritious foods, immunizations, help with HIV/AIDS, and provide relief in emergency situations. UNICEF is the most efficient humanitarian organization in the world and all the money we raise is doubled through an outside fund! We also talk about current issues affecting children!

 

Just remember:

It’s not too late to find your niche on campus. It’s sometimes less intimidating to join an organization in the winter because fewer events are going on than in the fall! You’ll be able to hit the ground running after summer break!” ~Stephanie Demos

 

To Lead is To Serve

This year, I am part of the STEP program — the Second Year Transformational Experience Program. Sounds fancy, right?

Basically, this program is available to students living on-campus in their second year. You can “apply” by simply checking a box saying you’d like to be a part of the program when you apply for housing. I’m not pressuring you… BUT DO IT!!!

In STEP, you meet with a small group and faculty member weekly to discuss plans and ideas to ultimately receive $2,000 at the end of the year to use toward whatever suits your interests — whether it be to study abroad, take internships, do research — literally anything you can imagine.

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However, what I really want to share is the insight I have gained from my faculty advisor. When I first found out my group’s faculty member was an electrical engineering professor, you could say I wasn’t too thrilled. I am studying psychology and communication with a minor in public health (so basically I don’t know what I want to do with my life, but I do know it’s definitely not electrical engineering), and needless to say, I thought I wouldn’t get much out of his advice. But something that he emphasizes week after week has been stuck in my head lately: to lead is to serve.

This got me thinking. I definitely like to serve; I’m in a service fraternity, am part of the UNICEF club and felt like I was doing a pretty good job of “serving.” But what I’ve come to realize this year is that simply participating, showing up, and being aware is not enough. If we want to make a true impact in this world, we have to go beyond just putting in our hours of service and feeling like a good person because of it. Instead, we have to be engaged, thoughtful, inquisitive, and give a voice to those who cannot be heard.

This could mean creating a new service club focusing on an issue that you are passionate about, this could be recruiting others into your organization by sharing your enthusiasm, or this simply could be teaching others what you have learned in a particular service project and how you think you could make it better the next time.

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When I think more about the idea of to lead is to serve, I think of qualities in a leader that I find to be the most inspiring.

These are:

  1. Passion– I think it’s safe to say that there are no good leaders who lack passion. It takes a special person to be able to inspire an entire crowd with their own passion, and it always gives me the chills.
  2. Authenticity– Basically I see this as “being real.” It’s a person who shares their true self and understands they are human. This type of person is approachable and warm and doesn’t hide parts of themselves depending on the situation.
  3. Participator– I find a leader to be so much more valuable when they are able to practice what they preach. These leaders are involved in the grass roots and exemplify how to make an impact even at this level.
  4. Daring– A real leader is willing to take risks. A real leader is also willing to invest in their people and have faith in their abilities. When an inspiring leader has you take on a big project, you naturally step up to the challenge knowing that your abilities have been trusted.

An important thing to understand is that you do not have to hold a title to be a leader. A leader is someone who actively engages in the world around them, positively impacting the people they cross paths with regardless of whether they hold a special title or not. I encourage you all to reflect on yourselves and what type of impact and legacy you are leaving behind, because that’s all that really matters when it comes down to it, right? You can do it!

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