When I first attended Admitted Students’ Day for COM back in April of 2014, I was blown away by the information I received from professors and COM Ambassadors about all the amazing organizations and opportunities that BU provided to help me advance professionally. Right off the bat, before I even started, I was told that getting involved in the college was the key to my success. I pocketed this information along with my excitement, and couldn’t wait to get on campus and try absolutely everything.
In a perfect world, I would have moved in and done just that, but as we all know, college likes to throw a wrench or two in your plans. My first semester ended up being a lot more challenging than I had anticipated (said every college student ever), from both an academic and social standpoint. I did not know who I was here; I didn’t feel like I belonged in any particular group, and my identity as a good student from high school didn’t seem to be transferring over here. I saw my peers, the same people I had met at Admitted Students’ Day and orientation, diving into everything COM had to offer, but my response to my tough first semester was to revert inwards and refrain from getting involved. My thought was that, if I could barely handle COM101, how was I supposed to commit time to clubs and organizations? With this line of thinking, I refrained from trying anything at all, and I was left wondering if my dream school was everything I thought it would be.
The next semester was not much better, but I got involved in Greek Life, which helped me to meet some of my greatest friends, and gave me a foundation upon which to join more on campus. I won’t take you semester by semester, as the culmination of this story is not until this past semester, but they followed in line with the passivity of my first year at BU.
By the start of my junior year, I was restless. I had met so many wonderful people participating in/running so much on campus and in COM, but even though they were my peers and close friends, they felt so far ahead of me in terms of involvement, that I was discouraged I would never catch up. A few weeks before the start of the fall semester, I thought back on Admitted Students’ Day and all the organizations, classes, and clubs that had been mentioned and I suddenly remembered AdLab. For those of you who don’t know, AdLab is the largest and oldest student-run advertising agency in the country. What better way to learn about advertising than to get involved here, right?
So I registered and when I showed up on the first day, I still felt so late to the party. I was surrounded by people who had already worked in agencies and had shining recommendations from professors here, some of whom were juniors like me. Instead of letting that get to my head, though, I tried to have a different approach. My peers are hard-working role models, why wouldn’t I derive inspiration from them? And from there, I tried to talk to as many people in AdLab as possible. I got to know people in my classes involved at the agency, and anytime I needed help or advice, I knew AdLab had someone nearby with the answer.
AdLab helped me see that there was nothing to be afraid of, but more importantly, it showed me that it is never too late to get involved in the right thing for you. My first semester of AdLab pushed me to work harder than I thought I could or wanted to, and despite my constant venting at the expense of my friends’ sanity, I gained practical experience in several arenas of advertising.
Most importantly, though, AdLab helped me learn how to get out of my own way, and that letting fears of getting involved consume you only perpetuates the cycle of never trying anything new.
No matter what year you are, what semester you are in, or whether you are on campus or abroad, don’t forget that it is never too late to find the thing that will have the biggest impact on your college experience, and even your future. You can never have too many hobbies, skills, passions, or friends, and with an open mind to try new things, you will only develop more of each of these.
If I could say it any better I would, but in perfect conclusion, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take – Wayne Gretzky” – Michael Scott.”