• Don't Let the Unknown Stop You from Being Involved

    by Maddie Parker Martinez

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    As students, we’re always told how important it is to get involved on campus, but sometimes this can seem really intimidating. There are so many options for involvement with clubs, programs, and organizations, how can you know where to start? Not to mention that putting yourself in a situation with new people can be really scary, at least I know it is for me.

    I’m currently a junior attending Utah Valley University and there are hundreds of ways to get involved on my campus, as is true with most universities. One of the greatest things I’ve learned is that being involved comes in many shapes and sizes and everyone’s experiences with involvement is different.

    Trying new things

    My freshman year of college I got accepted into a scholarship program called the UVU Ambassador Program. I helped plan events for prospective students and traveled to different high schools around Utah to educate high school students about attending UVU. This program taught me so much and I loved every minute of my experiences there. However, during my sophomore year I realized that I wanted to try something new. I’m here to tell you that there is nothing wrong with a desire to change. Whether you’re currently involved and looking to try new things or you’re looking where to start, I hope you hear my experiences and are motivated to find the way that is best for you.

    Getting outside your comfort zone

    I was nervous to try something new and break out of my old routines and habits. Despite this, I knew that if I wanted to continue to live my best college experience, I had to put myself out there and search for something different. This can take time. By my junior year I found what I wanted to do next – participate in my school’s PRSSA Chapter. PRSSA is short for Public Relations Student Society of America. It helps to develop students going into the Public Relations field by expanding their networks and teaching important skills with hands on learning. I had been attending a lot of their events for my classes when I made the decision to run for the secretary position on the student board. This was a hard transition for me because I knew I would be closing a chapter in my life. However, it also meant that I would meet new people and learn skills that were out of my comfort zone.

    Accomplishing great things

    I decided to take a huge leap of faith by applying and to my surprise, I won! I was shocked, nervous, and excited all at the same time. The moral of the story is that when we take risks, we can accomplish great things. More importantly, taking risks helps us put ourselves in a place that will make us happy. Moving from one form of involvement to the next takes courage, but also has rewards.

    My wish for all those who read this is to know that no matter where you are in your involvement, if you want a change, you need to believe in yourself enough to make it happen. It’s okay to be afraid of the unknown, but don’t let it stop you from getting to where you want to be.

     

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  • Thankfulness and the Power of Positivity

    by Maddie Parker Martinez

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    Thanksgiving is the season to give thanks, but why limit our thanksgiving to just one season out of the entire year? For college students, stress can inhibit our ability to feel thankful about anything in our school careers. But being thankful can lead to positive thinking. Maintaining a positive outlook throughout all our classes, exams, and projects can not only change our attitude, but can also have the power to make us happier and more successful in school.  

    One Step at a Time

    I recently learned an important lesson about being stress free from one of my professors at Utah Valley University, Dr. Leandra Hernandez. She has been my favorite professor throughout my college career thus far, not only because of her teaching abilities, sense of humor, and passion about what she teaches, but most importantly because of her motto of being stress free. 

    The Media Ethics class that she teaches covers some difficult content and it is easy to feel overwhelmed. She constantly reminds us to be stress free and take things one step at a time. I have learned that by following her advice, I am more positive in that class and more thankful for the opportunity that I have to receive an education.

    An Amazing Impact

    I’ve tried to apply this motto to everything in my life instead of just the Media Ethics class, and I was amazed by the impact that it had. Of course, my stress didn’t just vanish. But when I stopped to identify the source of my stress, I could break down what I needed to do into more manageable steps and then take them one at a time. Taking this active approach also helped me recognize things that can’t be changed or were out of  my control. Being proactive in handling my stress made me feel so happy, positive, and grateful. 

    Giving thanks in this season is important, but sometimes can be difficult with all the stress surrounding us. As we try to be stress free and take things one step at a time, it will help us to be more positive and relaxed. It’s easier to be more thankful when you are feeling at peace with your surroundings. I invite everyone who’s reading this post to take a second and think about all the things that are stressors in your life, and turn them into something more positive. Take things one step at a time and be thankful for all you have.

     

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