Attend events outside your own associations

By Bridget Sjoberg | News Editor

I joined the Lariat staff at the beginning of my sophomore year at Baylor to better my writing skills and gain practical journalism experience. Since then, I have definitely received those benefits out of my roles in the publication, but I’ve also gained another useful experience that has benefited me more than anything: a chance to attend a variety of events in the Baylor and Waco communities, many of which I would have never thought to attend in the past.

As a staff writer for the entirety of last year, I was called to report on many on-campus or Waco events. These events ranged from lectures, group meetings, organization events, or city activities that were free to the public. Going to these events offered benefits like interesting guest speakers and often times free food for attendees.

Walking on campus, there are a variety of posters, billboards, chalk markings or other forms of promotion for events offered by Baylor or the Waco community. There are also online forms like What’s New BU or Presidential Perspective emails. When in the day-to-day grind, it can be easy to just go on autopilot and ignore events that don’t specifically pertain to us. I know this, because that’s what I did during the entirety of my freshman year.

Joining the Lariat, however, opened my eyes to how much is offered to students at Baylor right on campus or just a quick drive away. In the course of a year, I listened to someone who has gone on an expedition to the underwater Titanic wreckage site, I heard a talk from the Czech Republic ambassador to the United States, I reported on multicultural symposiums and career panels, and I participated in a variety of other activities. The best part is that all of these events were free and open to any Baylor student who wanted to attend.

I’m grateful that the Lariat pushed me out of my comfort zone to attend events that I normally wouldn’t have looked into. The stories I covered over the course of the last year have broadened my world perspective and helped me become more informed and well-rounded. Because of that experience, I would absolutely encourage any Baylor student to take full advantage of all the events Waco and Baylor have to offer.

This doesn’t mean to attend every event that exists on campus or events that in no way interest you. As students, we’re all busy with our course loads, often on top of outside activities like work and other campus involvement. However, even just looking for one event each month to attend that you normally wouldn’t have is a great way to embrace campus opportunities. Most events are free and sometimes offer perks like free t-shirts, food or merchandise. The people who plan these events also put in a great deal of effort and encourage students to come.

While you’re in college, make an intentional effort to engage in more than just activities that apply to you directly. Read emails and look around campus for opportunities that interest you, because free events like these can often lead to personal character development and unforeseen opportunities.