Attending a university entitles one to more opportunities to learn and mature that take place outside of the classroom. A college campus is designed to promote diversity and the ability to learn from peers, not just professors.
I feel as though some students do not take full advantage of their surroundings and instead choose to continue the activities they already know and feel comfortable with.
By doing this they are doing themselves a huge disservice, because they may not have the same type of exposure to the cultures and lifestyles in their future as they do now.
Even I, being from Southern California, have observed slightly different ways of living from local Bay Area natives. I’ve noticed different types of personalities I wouldn’t find back home; I’ve been exposed to new music and slang and even the weather patterns are different for me.
When I first moved up to NorCal for school, I almost transferred back to a school back in San Diego because I didn’t like the subtle differences that I was forced to adjust to. Now I am happy I stayed because I wouldn’t have had the same experiences I’ve had so far living in this new environment.
I gained these experiences by attempting to take in as many new things around campus as possible. I made new friends, attended different events and started new hobbies. My roommate and I even tried an improvisation club. It wasn’t for me, but I still had a good time and I am glad I tried it.
There are better means of branching out than just trying random activities. SSU is home to numerous clubs and organizations whose purpose is to preserve cultural traditions.
Some examples of cultural organizations include the Asian Pacific Islander Organization, the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Atzlan, the Raza Native American Council or the Hmong Alliance Association.
These clubs may be designed to cater to those who have grown up with these traditions, but all of the clubs I listed are open to public. This way anyone can become educated and aware about the other cultures in their community.
One of the best ways you can expose yourself to new cultures is by studying abroad. SSU hosts workshops that can help students choose the most appropriate international studies program to fit their needs.
Students can then work toward their degree in countries like France, Spain, Germany, Japan, or South Africa (just to name a few). I have yet to meet a student who said they did not enjoy their experience studying overseas.
However, joining a cultural organization or studying abroad is not always the way students want to gain new experiences. Even special interest organizations like the Global Environmental Activism Club or a sports club like Ultimate Frisbee can offer opportunities to branch out one’s interests.
Rushing for a Fraternity or Sorority is another great way one can become involved and develop the ability to socialize with their peers.
Greek organizations have a common objective to help get the community closer and promote personal development. With the goal, students learn to work together and help each other gain social skills.
All of these items are ways SSU has supported the growth of diversity on campus.
Although it may seem enough to merely finish schoolwork and learn to live independently, becoming exposed and educated by one’s peers and surrounding environment is an excellent way to take advantage of the other benefits studying at a university has to offer.