With over 500 campus organizations and over 50 various sports at all different levels, I promise that there is something here for you — a group of people who will help you figure out where you’re supposed to be. At UCSB, everyone can find their niche. Now, I don’t want to overwhelm anyone any more than the RHA’s 30-plus Welcome Week events already have. Between the blue and yellow posters engulfing the walls of your Res Hall’s lobby, the chaos of the dinning commons and what feels like hundreds of people handing out fliers at the Arbor, it’s easy to get intimidated. But don’t let the hype scare you away.
In high school, we all had our “thing,” whether it was ASB, volleyball, water polo, band, choir … the list goes on and on. If you found something you were passionate about in high school, you can certainly continue to participate in it here. Or maybe you were that over-committed, over-involved student who just wants the chance to finally take a load off. That was me last year; I was like, “Okay, I’m in college, I can do whatever I want now, I don’t have to do any clubs, I don’t have to play a sport, I’m just gonna chill.” But while that was fun for a while, I have to say my UCSB experience was highly enhanced the quarter that I started taking advantage of more of the exciting opportunities that we have on campus.
Get involved in your hall because it’s one of the best ways to meet people. If you’re on the fence about whether you want to help out or not, just go to the info sessions! Whether you’re in one of the shorties, like Anacapa or Santa Cruz, or over in San Cat, being involved in things like Hall Council will introduce you to a variety of people in your building. Even if Hall Council doesn’t sound like your thing, you should definitely check out some of the programs your peers will put on throughout the year. Inside scoop: There’s always free food at those events!
So maybe you never played basketball in high school; that doesn’t mean you can’t play on an intramural team with your friends! Intramurals give you a fun atmosphere where you can let out that competitive streak that all Gauchos naturally possess … plus, who knows how to celebrate a win better than a Gaucho? There’s also a whole array of club sports that offer everyone a fairly even playing field (no pun intended), such as rowing, rugby or lacrosse, which maybe aren’t the standard fare that was offered at your high school, but should certainly be given a shot.
As you walk through the Arbor or past the UCen this week, there will be clubs, groups and teams tabling that you’ll see and think, “Hmm, sounds pretty cool.” Do not ignore this thought! Stop and chat, find out when they meet and give it a shot. You never know when and where you might discover your hidden talent, or meet your future best friend, mentor, boss, study buddy, significant other … the options are unlimited. Nike said it best: “Just Do It.”
Veronika Navarra is a second-year Communications major.