BENGALS! I hope you are enjoying your summer vacation and getting excited for New Student Orientation! The orientation team and myself are so excited to get to know all of you!! I know this process is very intimidating and unknown, but there are plenty of resources here on campus to help you succeed.

One of the very first resources that you will step foot into will be Housing (residence halls). This is the area that you will live in for you entire first year and maybe more. It’s full of opportunities to get involved, network, study, and have fun. I would suggest to maintain (to your comfort level) an open door policy. This would help you socialize, create new friendships, and see what is going on. By meeting more people, it allows you to feel less stressed, have more fun, and worry less about being alone.

The next area that I would recommend getting involved with would be RHA. This is the Residence Hall Association, and they plan events, coordinate meetings, and are a resource for many different conflicts/problems during your time in the residence halls (dorms). You can also find leadership opportunities within the RHA committee. Finally, if you are itching to find a leadership opportunity, you can apply to a Resident Assistant  (RA) within the halls. This is a great position that teaches you time management, professional skills, and allows you to socialize with peers, Housing officials, and other individuals on campus.

I got involved with Housing my sophomore year and became a RA for South Complex. It was by far the best learning experience I have ever had. It allowed me to grow professionally, socially, and academically while still being a student. I met some amazing individuals that helped me along the way, and I would highly recommend this job, if you are interested.

 After working as an RA for Housing, I began searching for new areas of involvement. I happened upon the LEAD Center (leadership education and development), which is in charge of New Student Orientation, service learning, and other leadership opportunities. This is where I found my “home-away-from-home.” I started working as a volunteer orientation leader my junior year and have returned every year since then. This office is exactly where you need to go if you’re looking for a leadership opportunity, fun people to talk to, or if you just need a little encouragement. The orientation team has provided me with excellent professional relationships, increased my social skills, and given me ideas for my future career. This office has so many valuable resources available to all students, and I would highly suggest paying them a visit.

The next resource that you are more than likely to encounter would be the involvement center. This is the office that coordinates all the clubs, Greek life, and SAB (student activities board). If you ever want to know what clubs ISU offers, or how to create a club, this would be the office to talk to. The staff is extremely friendly and very passionate about connecting students with a group of other students like them. This is also the same office that coordinates SAB. SAB is an awesome group of students that plan FREE events for the entire campus! They have events like paint parties, monthly bingos, tailgates, concerts, and much more. Keep a look out for their black and orange SAB logo, and be sure to get involved with their events.

When I worked for SAB, I had one of the best years of my ISU career! I got to plan events for students, attend these events, and develop even more professional skills. It was a great area for me to really express my creativity in their event planning and marketing. If you’re looking for a hands-on public leadership role, this would be the option for you. This job introduces to multiple students (which feels like the whole school), allows you to engage with student affairs, and gives you professional event planning skills.

Another area that will influence your time here at ISU will be ASISU ( Associated Students of ISU). This is the student government organization. It’s a very unique position that allows you to run for a seat on the student senate representing your college. If you want to make a change on the campus, or just simply want to help support your college, I would suggest running for office. This position gives you an excellent opportunity to make a difference, meet more students, create a change within your college, and develop more skills.

These are just a few areas that you can get involved with while you’re here at ISU, but there are many more options! The best way to find areas to get involved with is to be present at events, socialize with those in charge of events, and ask how to apply. The process of getting involved is intimidating, but the consequences will provide you with countless friendships, professional relationships, valuable experiences, and opportunities for growth.

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