How Getting Involved Changed My Life

by Rikki Rosenthal on May 20, 2020

How Getting Involved Changed My Life

by Rikki Rosenthal on May 20, 2020

When you typically think of college, you think of going to class, maybe partying, making friends and having the time of your life. But one thing no one tells you is that making friends in college is not as easy as it looks. But I have a secret for you—a foolproof way to make connections with your peers that will last.

Rikki Rosenthal with friends at Writer's Bloc club meeting

Writer's Bloc club meeting

Get involved! Most schools have a plethora of clubs and activities, and there is always something for everyone. Lucky for you, at Arcadia, all of our clubs and activities are created by students for students. From dance to video games to activism, Arcadia’s clubs and activities offer endless options for those who are willing to take advantage of them.

I discovered in community college that it’s very difficult to make friends. As much as I tried to connect with those in my cohort, it was nearly impossible to find time to meet with them outside of class. All of that changed once I became involved. The clubs I participated in provided me friendships that I know will last a lifetime. Coming to Arcadia, I knew I had to become involved to make good friends, but found it difficult to find the time in my first semester. As a commuter student, most of the clubs meet pretty late at night, so I found the meetings difficult to access, but it was possible.

Coming into my second semester, I promised myself that I would stop making excuses and just make the time to be at the club meetings that meant the most to me. I decided to join Knight Club, the dance club at Arcadia, since I was a dancer for 16 years. After taking time off, I decided it was time to get back in the game. I’ve had so much fun, and I’ve made some wonderful friends who also share a love for dancing. I’m also on the executive board for a new club called Writer’s Bloc, which is basically just a creative writing club. We work in a typical workshop setting, provide writing prompts and friendly critiques, and offer a judgement-free space for people of all majors to share their writing. Being on the board is a new experience for me at Arcadia, and I’m learning a lot. I’ve felt happier and more excited to spend more time on campus because of these clubs.

That’s the wonderful thing about clubs and activities; they are extracurricular, so you get the freedom to explore new things that put you outside your comfort zone. Don’t be afraid of embarrassing yourself.

- Rikki Rosenthal

I even have gotten some of my friends from class involved by just letting them know when the meetings are. Especially because Writer’s Bloc is a new club, we really only got new members by word of mouth. It has been so fun to see familiar faces come to the meetings. The few people I have talked to outside of club meetings have thanked me for asking them to join because they feel like they have support.

The best advice I can offer is to find a club that interests you. While it might feel safe to pursue a club in your major field of interest, I implore you to get outside your comfort zone! You don’t need to be an English major to be in Writer’s Bloc, nor do you need to be a dancer to join Knight Club. That’s the wonderful thing about clubs and activities; they are extracurricular, so you get the freedom to explore new things that put you outside your comfort zone. Don’t be afraid of embarrassing yourself. Try something new! I promise you’ll make friends and have fun.