Is getting involved for losers?


“Yo man, what are you doing?”

“Why are you going to that?”

“That sounds so stupid!”

Have you ever wanted to get involved in something but then your homies make you feel stupid for wanting to get involved?  That’s what happened to me in September, and I’m so happy that I didn’t listen to them, because I would have missed out… a lot!

Everyone says that I’m a people person. I love meeting new people and love to listen and grow within the conversations that I have when I meet someone new. Sounds easy enough to make new friends, right? Wrong! I turned 23 this past September and as a 23 year old going to a college with fellow students as young as 18, I was worried that I was too old get involved. I’m sure I’m not alone, and that other older students feel the same way.

A couple weeks into classes, Dave Seaweed, the Aboriginal Services Coordinator, came into my classroom and spoke briefly about the upcoming Student Leadership Retreat. The idea caught my attention and within a second I was interested and wanted to sign up, but I noticed that no one from my class had put their names down. I started to doubt my decision to sign up but decided to put my name down anyways.  A couple of days before the retreat, I was still questioning whether to attend. I told some friends about it, and, well, that’s where the questions that started this post came from. Even though their negative comments were ridiculous, they were really getting to me.

When the day of the retreat finally came, I woke up feeling really hesitant. I was so unsure that I didn’t even bother to pack anything for the retreat, even though it was a 3-day overnight stay at a cabin. When I arrived, I saw a sea of people with their sleeping bags ready to go. I must have looked so creepy just standing there for 15 minutes trying to decide what I was going to do. At the end I said screw it, I’m gonna go, because I am who I am and I want to meet new people and experience new things. I went and it was the best retreat that I have been to, and I go to a lot of retreats for work.

I met so many people and I learned so much more about Douglas College. Before the retreat, it was just me walking up that big hill, hating coming to school and being alone, and quickly going home after class.  The retreat inspired me to become more involved, which is actually why I’m writing this blog right now! I was invited to apply for the Student Engagement Life at DC team, and here I am.

What’s the moral of the story? Take risks and try not to listen to other people’s negative comments about getting involved. Douglas is a very supportive environment both for new and returning students, you just have to be open to the opportunities that are out there.  And maybe one day we’ll all have a less lonely walk up that silly hill!


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