Take Every Opportunity to do Something You’ve Never Done

M Dub in high school. Yes, that is a coral necklace. Matt assures me they were very cool at the time.

I went to college in a new town, in a new state, and did not know anyone. It was a weird feeling being dropped off by my parents and having complete freedom to go where I wanted, however late I wanted, and not having to let anyone know where I was going. However, when you don’t know anyone, this freedom is not as great as it may seem.

An older friend of mine told me to get involved in everything I could during my first years of college. As everyone does, I was apprehensive about over-committing. After all, this was college…demanding professors, month-long group projects, and hours in the library. As it turns out, college wasn’t that hard to figure out. Professors at Belmont were very personable and always willing to help. Group projects were not that hard and usually came at the end of the semester. Truth be told, to this day I could not tell you how to check a book out of the Belmont Library. That was more a fault of mine and not recommended.

So what do you do with all this extra time? Get involved.

Colleges have a myriad of clubs, intramural teams, organizations, and other groups that do just about anything. Some are purely social, some are educational, some volunteer and some are pointless (Belmont had a Club Tex, for instance). Getting involved outside the classroom will not only force you to meet new people, but you’ll be surprised at how much you actually learn about “real life.”

You can find Matt at every BU basketball game just don't do the Grr cheer around him.

I do not remember one thing from my sophomore year marketing class other than my roommate and I were late to the very first class. However, I do remember the organizational leadership skills I picked up in SGA and as president of my fraternity. The only thing I remember from my junior year history class was that our professor sometimes spoke with a Russian accent and sometimes with his natural American accent (no explanation why). I do remember the job interview skills I learned while serving on a search committee for a new Student Affairs employee. My speech class had me stand up in front of 10 other people in a small classroom and give 5 minute speeches. It helped my public speaking skills, but not a lot. As VP of the SGA, I had to speak in front of 60-70 of my peers every other week. Trial by fire.

That being said, classes are important. At no other time in your life will you be given the opportunity to learn so much in a relatively short four year span. However, more than facts and figures, college teaches you how to learn. More than likely, whatever company you work for out of college will have their own way of doing things. This will probably be different than what you learned in school. You have to be able to adapt. College teaches you that, if you let it.

During your freshman year, you’ll think you are as busy as you’ll ever be. Trust me, it’s the opposite. You’ll be surprised at how much you can do with a little time management. So don’t be afraid to jump in and get involved. Take every opportunity you can to do something you’ve never done. It’ll pay off.

***

Matt sans coral necklace

Matt  should never have let me do his bio. Muah haha.  Here we go…what can I tell you about Matt? Matt went to high school in Alabama. Before I could make a snide remark about Alabama and education, Matt beat me to the punch saying, “Yes, we have those there.”

Matt graduated from Belmont University in 2006 with a degree in finance.  He wanted to be on Program Board with yours truly but had to settle for SGA. Despite being on SGA, Matt has become one of my best friends.  He’s the big brother I never had and teaches me all sorts of things…like what “gigging” is and how to change a headlight in the dark. Wednesday night you’ll find Matt running with the Nasties.  He is currently a project manager with Greystone Brokerage & Development, a medical real estate development firm in Franklin, TN.

You can find Matt with the Breaking Contain team writing about sports and all the opinions that come with it.  And trust me, Matt and the team are never short on opinions.

About this series: This is one of a series of guest posts in May that will run every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

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8 thoughts on “Take Every Opportunity to do Something You’ve Never Done

  1. Boom. Good blog post from a great dude. Involvement is the key.

    But, Jack, regarding that last line in Matt’s bio…perhaps the pot calling the kettle opinionated?

  2. Great post! I totally agree about getting involved. I learned so much more from my experiences in Service Corps and Showcase Council than in any of my classes. Also some of my best friends are the people I met and worked with in those organizations. I can’t begin to imagine what my college experience would have been had I not gotten involved.

  3. matt – i am sure you’re post was educational and insightful, but it was really hard for me to focus on the words when that coral necklace was staring me in the face. 🙂

    but, yes, I agree, get involved! of all my college friends who said they didnt have a great time or were homesick – weren’t involved! do stuff! make friends!

    toga!

    • Ashley – Thanks for your comments about my necklace. I’ve been questioning whether to bring that trend back, and you have answered that for me.

      Next time we play ping pong in the basement of an old bowling alley, I’ll wear it. Please don’t be offended if I spend the whole time fielding compliments.

      • i just reread my comment and realized i said “you’re” when it should’ve been “your” – damn that necklace.

        listen – i highly doubt anyone will even have the nerve to challenge you to a game of ping-pong if you are wearing such a legendary piece of neck art. people will simply bow and silently hand you their paddles admitting defeat.

  4. Pingback: Everything Matters « JayeWalking

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