A few weeks ago, I spoke with a senior who had never set foot in one of the dorms, despite having spent almost four years here on campus. The conversation made me think about how important it is to take the occasional step out of your usual routine to experience a new part of our community before graduation.
There are 38 countries represented within Lawrence’s student body. Getting to know students from different parts of the world, as well as from different parts of the United States, provides insights to the locations students are representing. There may be more opportunities to meet people in diverse locations after college, but not many in which those individuals share your age and constantly cross paths with you.
Encountering individuals with different backgrounds causes us to be more introspective. While doing something that is culturally expected, someone with a different background may ask you the earth-shatteringly simple question, “why did you do that,” exposing that what is considered normal is not universal.
Exploring campus and taking part in all that Lawrence has to offer can help introduce you to individuals that you would have otherwise never gotten to meet and learn from their background and culture.
After attending the Activities Fair, it’s easy to flood your email with club meetings you never attend. While these may seem like interests that we fail to make time for, it would be impossible for all of us to regularly attend every single organization we’re even moderately interested in.
Nonetheless, even if it’s only for a single meeting or outing, taking the time to dip your toes into a new club can be rewarding and can provide another perspective of campus you didn’t have before.
It’s also tempting to simply fill your schedule with activities related to your desired career that will pad your resumé. While resumé building is necessary, it’s also important to make time to reflect, think and explore aspects of campus that are completely new to you.
Branching out and trying something completely unrelated to your major may seem counterintuitive, but it could even lead to a potential career interest or relate to your degree in ways you didn’t expect.
Our fellow Lawrentians are eager to try new experiences and learn everything they can. After all, that’s why we came to college, right? There is no better time to try out a new project or gather a group of people for a common cause than there is now.
Recently, the Creative Writing Club (CWC) worked on putting together a collaborative project with the math department and the Improvisation Group of Lawrence University (IGLU). The aim of the project was for CWC to create poems from a math survey that asked questions such as “Does this group [referring to a mathematical equation] have a personality?” The poems are now being brought to IGLU, where they will create songs inspired by the poems CWC created.
Putting together a project such as this one at Lawrence is a lot easier within a community in which students are willing to try new things and eager to expand upon what they know. There is no better time to put together creative collaborative projects than now, when students are enthusiastic about developing their skills and trying weird ideas.
If you haven’t stepped foot into every dorm or theme house, what are you waiting for? Take a walk to a different building, visit a new club or try imagining a task that engages multiple clubs in a project that hasn’t been done before.
Lawrence is an intellectual buffet table full of different entrees to taste and combinations to explore. Next time you have free time, try taking a bite out of something new. Our time here is limited, and you never know what flavors you’re missing out on until you place something new onto your plate.