Finding Friendship through Campus Involvement

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Saige O’Rourke
A collage of 3 pictures featuring the blog author in VolWake club activities.

When I first started college, I was just as nervous as the next guy. I was also excited, but worried I wouldn’t meet anyone or that I was wasting my time. I spent my first year hoping I would meet my best friends in a random class or somehow in a hallway. One day I was walking to the library, and I saw an individual wearing a “VolWake” t-shirt; now, I get to call this group of people my dearest friends because I decided to join that club.

The beginning of my college experience was anything but amazing. I experienced heartache, roommate drama, and confusion as to what direction I was headed. I found myself so miserable that I was considering transferring. I did not put much effort into being involved on campus nor did I use the resources I had in front of me to meet new people. I decided to join VolWake on a whim, and I was gifted my favorite surfboard, so I didn’t have much of a choice.

VolWake is the University of Tennessee’s Wakeboarding club; there are almost 100 members that are all college students who love to take part in water sports. I was insanely hesitant about joining this team. I was worried that I wouldn’t be good enough or that I wouldn’t make any friends. My first day on our boat countered my thoughts completely.

This team has allowed me to land and learn new tricks within weeks instead of months, and I am constantly surrounded by encouragement. My confidence on the water has grown tremendously. The people who are a part of this team are nothing but welcoming and talented; I am always surrounded by belly-laughs and amazing memories.

If you asked me exactly one year ago what my favorite part of college was, I wouldn’t be able to tell you; matter of fact, I would probably say travelling somewhere else. Now, I am surrounded by life-long friends who love the same things I do and enjoy my company. I couldn’t imagine a better group of people to spend my waking hours with, and I am extremely grateful that I have found my people.

With all of this being said, it is so important to get involved on your campus. There are so many opportunities and people that are waiting to LOVE YOU! Exploring all options on campus, no matter how terrifying they might be, can and will open the perfect doors for you. Take the risk and meet your best friends!!!

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