You can dance if you want to, but don’t leave your friends behind
By Amanda Castro-Crist and Aspen Edgar
During my first semester at Amarillo College, I kept to myself. I didn’t know anyone in any of my classes, and I was too shy to change that. It was manageable, but lonely.
When I started my second semester, I had the opportunity to be a part of student media.
Though I still was shy and older than most of the other students, they immediately included me in conversations, events and projects. Within a few weeks, my self-consciousness had begun to fade and I started contributing ideas, cracking jokes and making suggestions for improvement.
There also was a huge change in my classroom demeanor. As my confidence increased, I found myself engaging with professors and students and enjoying discussions I previously had dreaded. Other students at AC said they have experienced the very same effect after connecting with a club or organization.
“Not only are you being surrounded by your peers who understand you and your day-to-day struggles, you’re surrounding yourself with people who are also searching and trying to figure life out,” said Andrew Alexander, a mass media major and Student Government Association president.
Knowing you’re all in the same boat creates a support system, regardless of whether you acknowledge or need it. Some clubs, such as the Finishers, make it their mission to support each other.
“Finishers gave me the strength to overcome my obstacles in order to succeed,” said Christy Schroeder, an AC alumna and a social work and psychology major at West Texas A&M University.
But joining a club or organization, something not all students may have time for, is not the only way to create a sense of camaraderie. Sometimes, it can just be connecting with your instructors and professors or introducing yourself to your classmates and exchanging phone numbers.
“That’s who you’re going to see twice a week for the next 16 weeks,” said Donna Pergrem, a business and CIS adviser.
Make those contacts early in the semester, Pergrem said. They may be your only lifeline if you have to miss class later.
For more info about clubs and organizations,
call student life at 806-371-5303.