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Summertime typically marks the annual preparation for a majority of incoming, first-time college students. These students are bombarded with information regarding the “next chapter” of their lives.

Universities, which at their core, are about education. But, also serve as an institution for building student life activities which spark the interest of a majority of students. A consistently reinforced message to a successful college career is to do well in class and join an organization which will advance towards career goals and eventually lead to an internship. There isn’t a strong message to pursue personal interests, but there should be.

UTSA boasts over 330 student organizations that provide a platform for students to get involved in things they are passionate about or interested in. Individual and personal interests can enhance the college experience and allows students to either learn new things or advance a unique set of skills.

For example, The Paisano is an independent student newspaper, but it isn’t run by people solely interested in journalism or publications; it is run by a group of people who come from different backgrounds, majors and skill sets that are interested in what The Paisano has to offer. Many students who stick with The Paisano end up becoming staff members and their interests, skills and unique knowledge brings something to The Paisano; in return, it allows students to learn through trial and error, create a publication, interact with a diverse group of people and grow their talents.

Talents that develop from a student’s interest have the potential to culminate later and allow their future to be molded by their passions. Students can apply their skills in the best way possible, rather than put energy towards developing perceived skills that professionals desire. 

Students should take the time to evaluate what peaks their curiosity and pursue their interests because it can open a whole world of new and fascinating opportunities. College is about education, but it is also about discovery, whether that be in the classroom, on the campus, or away from the university. 

The university does make efforts for student organizations to advertise what they can offer to students, but there is always more focus on trade and professional organizations. Students should have the message that going after what they are interested in or passionate about can lead to success just as much as joining a professional organization. This should be reinforced by both the university and by all student organizations themselves. And a good start for students, especially incoming students, would be to look on Rowdylink to check out the variety of organizations and experiment with them; see what you like, see what you don’t and go from there.

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