From introverted to involved
“Get involved,” they said. “It’ll be the best thing that happens to you.”
Was all chatter worth listening to?
I started to get involved on campus my freshman year. I started off with the UIC Fashion Show and I haven’t looked back.
As cliché as it sounds, it was a life-changing experience. Never in my life had I imagined myself, the introverted baby-faced freshman, dancing on stage … by myself … in front of hundreds of strangers. The dancing, the boldness, the spontaneity came to life because I listened to strangers that would turn into friends in a matter of two months. After doing the fashion show, a thought came to my mind: “Why stop now?”
That same year, I applied to become the director of marketing for a new organization on campus, the Student Activities Board. A couple of weeks later I received a phone call from a Campus Programs advisor letting me know that I would become the first director of marketing for the Student Activities Board. My term would begin at the beginning of 2013-2014 school year. I was excited and thrilled for the opportunity, but there was one thing — I had no idea how to plan events or market them to college students.
Going into the school year I was able to get into the hang of planning events. I found ways to maintain a balance between school life, organizational life and personal life (which was not easy by any means). As time evolved, I was able to meet and share ideas with my friends and even administrators. I could begin to see that my work had significance to it and was helping mold the campus life.
So to answer the question, the chatter was worth listening to. The friendships that I have made, the knowledge that I have gained and the accomplishments that I have achieved have made my college life amazing; it is an experience that I would not trade for anything. I have been able to translate the knowledge that I’ve gained through my organization into exceling in the classroom and creating opportunities for myself after graduation.
To those of you who have not yet taken the chance to be involved on campus I say, it is never too late. To those of you who are already involved on campus, I ask you the same question that I asked myself, “Why stop now?”
Christian Gray is a senior majoring in marketing with a focus in promotion and communications and a minor in economics. He is president of the Student Activities Board. When he’s not planning events or doing schoolwork, you’ll catch him watching something sports related (#KOBE) or vibing out to music. His career goal growing up was to be Batman. He won’t tell you if he was successful on that mission, but let’s be real — have you ever seen him and Batman in the same place?