by Krista Klocke
ISU offers a wealth of opportunities for learning and campus involvement. With a catalogue full of courses and over 800 student organizations on campus, I have two recommendations to help you navigate all of the classes and clubs you have to choose from as you create your class plans for next semester: 1. Learn something new, and 2. Find something you’re passionate about!
Learn Something New!
No matter what your major is, you’ll have some free electives to take classes in areas that interest you. Did you know that there are dance classes you can take, even if you don’t have prior dance experience? One of my favorite classes I’ve taken is Dance 160 – Ballroom Dance. If you’ve always wanted to learn to waltz and tango like a pro, put this class on your list!
The Kinesiology major also offers one-credit, satisfactory/fail classes. This semester, I’m taking Kinesiology 129 (Bowling), and I’m having a great time! In addition, they offer classes on badminton, tennis, golf, and martial arts, just to name a few. You can find the catalog listings of the Kinesiology classes here: http://catalog.iastate.edu/collegeofhumansciences/kinesiology/#courseinventory.
If you don’t want to take a class, look at all the student organizations and clubs. There’s one for almost everything…Like archery? There’s a club for that. Like Live Action Role-Playing? Ditto. After taking Dance 160, I discovered there are multiple ballroom dance clubs on campus. I’m enjoying ballroom dancing so much that I bought my first pair of dance shoes this semester! No matter your interest or ability level, there are endless options for you to learn new skills.
Find Something You’re Passionate About…
…And get involved! The Honors Program is a great place to start. I absolutely loved my experiences as a First Year Honors Program student, so I became a First Year Honors Program (FHP) Leader. My semester as a Leader is one of my favorite memories of my time at ISU. It gave me the chance to share my love of the Honors Program and ISU with the First Year students in the class I co-taught. After working as a Leader, I wanted to become involved with the next level of leadership with Honors. I interviewed to become an Undergraduate Assistant (UA), a position I worked in all last year. I LOVED getting to work with the Honors staff, my co-UAs, and the 72 FHP Leaders through the training sessions and classes we helped lead. One of the best parts of finding something you love to do? It might just help you figure out your life plan.
Through my leadership experiences with the Honors Program, I was able to test how much I like working with college students (A LOT), and find out that I love mentoring and encouraging students. This helped cement for me my plan to get my Master’s degree in Higher Education so I can become an academic advisor.
Of course, there are other leadership opportunities on campus too. Many student organizations make philanthropy a large part of their mission. Finding an issue that interests you might help you decide on a career path! Either way, you will make new friends with similar interests. You can find a list of all the student organizations and clubs here: https://sodb-stuorg.sws.iastate.edu/list.php. The fall semester is a great time to start attending a new club, but you don’t have to wait until then…see if you can make it to one new club meeting before the end of the semester!
So – after two and a half years here at ISU, my two main pieces of advice are to learn something new, and to find something you’re passionate about. Then – be brave, get out there, and try something you’ve always been interested in!