Harding University is a big place with so many different avenues and ways to get involved in extracurricular groups. For as small as our university is, in comparison to state colleges, our student body is heavily involved in clubs and other organizations across all spectrums of academia. But for many students here, we come to college and stick to the things we know. If you were a part of the band in high school, then odds are you are still a part of the band. If football was your life in high school, then it is easier for you to maintain that identity in college. But college is a different beast. We are no longer confined to the image that we created for ourselves, or that our environment created for us. We don’t try to branch out and do something that we have never done before because we are either scared of change or we do not believe that we have what it takes, but believing either of those are wrong.
If you stick with the same people all the time then you’re stopping yourself from growing.. We are more than the sum of our parts. There are talents that you have that you are unaware of, and there is no better time in you life to explore that untapped potential than while you are in college. Now I am not saying that if you have never played guitar, then you are magically going to learn by picking one up, but it would not hurt to take a music theory class or “introduction to guitar”. If you have never played sports in high school, we offer intramurals to anybody of any skill level. You are always paired against someone or some team of equal caliber and it’s a great way to meet new people and make friends.
But ball is not always life. On the field and court are not the only places to have great experiences here. Have you ever felt called to perform on the stage? There is a place to showcase your artistic abilities. The Benson stage is home to some of our most well attended events, our very own theatrical productions. Spring Sing and the homecoming musical are two of the biggest weekends in the school year. Spring Sing is a time when students and faculty members come together across multiple departments to produce something magical for the supporters of our great school and it is inspiring. But Spring Sing would not happen without the participation of our student body. With all of these opportunities presented to us, we are robbing ourselves of an impactful experience if we convince ourselves not to take a chance on something new.
If you were to ask me last year, “Braden, could you ever see yourself as a part of the Ensemble cast?” I would have said, “no way, I can’t dance”. I still cannot dance, but I was able to learn a little. Last December, I took a chance on myself and auditioned for Ensemble. I made callbacks and after further auditioning I was accepted into the Ensemble cast. I may never be a part of Ensemble again after this year, but the memories I have from that experience will remain a part of me forever.
Most of us do this college thing only once. Do not waste the opportunities you are given here. Give your Netflix binge marathon a break. Learn to broaden your horizons. Become a better you by getting out and being a part of something bigger than yourself. We were not made to live sedentary lifestyles. Find your people and grow together with them.