In my last blog post, I mentioned writing my final paper on the campus experience/culture of community colleges and four year universities. One of the things that I touched on in that paper was the ‘student experience’. This is something that I feel like I wholeheartedly took advantage of in undergrad, but since coming to grad school getting involved has proven to be a bit more challenging.
Unlike in undergrad where clubs were super accessible, there was a larger community to interact with, and everyone was more or less in the same stage of life grad school has proven to be somewhat of the opposite. Although I am a very social and extroverted person, learning how to get involved here at Tech has been a bit more challenging for me.
For starters, my program is rather small. While we’re a close-knit little group, it reduces the number of people that I was exposed to upon beginning my degree here. While the grad school does a great job of sending out information each week about ongoing activities, it can be hard to take a leap of faith and join something new especially if you like trying new things with other people. But, sometimes you have to do it to get the most out of the life around you!
I’ve found that for myself, going to sporting events, regularly attending group fitness classes, getting involved in the greater blacksburg community, and cultivating strong friendships within my cohort has helped in my getting involved. What works for some people might not work as well for others, but I’ve found that my affinity for this campus has drastically increased with the more time I’ve spent making memories on it.
The shift to online courses has been difficult. I was so looking forward to eating lunch at the pylons or on the drillfield again, going to baseball games, or even just eating outside at local restaurants. While we don’t know how COVID-19 will impact campus life moving forward, I can rest easy in the fact that we will all be together again, getting involved on campus, and making memories again someday!