#7 From the Outside In

The last year of high school is dominated by the thoughts surrounding where a student is going to get “in” for college. However, being a recent high school graduate, I have found that getting into college is more about where you go outside of it.

Beginning in July of this year, I began working with the Amol Jethwani for Florida House campaign. This was my first “extracurricular” experience in college. Here, I was able to bond with an incredible group of people who were united by a common goal: getting our candidate elected. Once this ended, I discovered what I have valued the most from my college experience. College is not only about achieving the honor of making the Dean’s List but about the experiences you have as a result, and in conjunction with your academics.

I have found that your inner college life and success is determined, in part, by your outside college experiences.

Once school began, I began working with UF’s literary magazine, TEA. Working with TEA was a bit different than working with the Amol Jethwani campaign, and not in a bad way. The goals and tasks of both groups were incredibly different but shared one thing in common: the importance of the group as a whole. Both of these groups have pushed me to grow and learn early on in the college experience.

It is now September, and I have hopped on to yet another political campaign: Kayser Enneking for State Senate. Some coworkers-turned-friends gave me the opportunity to intern under them within the Kayser Enneking campaign. Inspired and excited, my internship began on Tuesday, September 18th.

The time I have spent with these different organizations has been absolutely priceless to me and far from obligatory. These experiences that I have found outside of the classroom have allowed me to open my eyes further to what is truly going on in the world.

I strongly recommend getting involved with different organizations that pull at your heartstrings or stir the fire in your belly. The world needs dedicated and passionate people in all sorts of departments and industries. I encourage that you venture beyond your dorm room, college campus, or neighborhood to see what is out there waiting for you. Not only are you providing a necessary service for your local community, but you are also providing a service to yourself. By going outside of your comfort zone, you can find who you truly are within.

What or who are you currently working with? What makes you fired up? What stirs your imagination or compassion? Leave your answers in the comment section! I am curious to see what you have to say!

xx

#1 My First Semester at UF

Summer term at the University of Florida consists of frat parties, girls puking on sidewalks, getting soaked on the way to class, sprained ankles, constant coffee, sweating through shirts, and of course, class.

Before going to Gainesville, I was really worried that I would absolutely hate it. Even though it is always sticky, hot, humid, and full of mosquitos, I have grown to love it. Being on campus warms my heart. I absolutely love being surrounded by so many like-minded people (maybe except for the girls puking on sidewalks).

I went into my first semester at UF not really knowing what I wanted to study or major in. I only took two classes during this term: an argumentative writing class and a wildlife issues class. Both classes were incredibly enriching and only excited me more for the Fall term when I would be taking four classes. I also finished these classes having more an idea of what I want to study during my four years here.

While I wasn’t in class or studying, I was out trying to get involved. Within the first couple of weeks, I applied to one of the school’s literary magazines to become a prose editor. I ended up getting a position within the magazine and will be joining the team this fall. I also got involved politically. I started volunteering with the Amol Jethwani campaign for the Florida House. Working with Amol and the team has been incredible. I have gone canvassing in the Florida heat and phone banking in the small campaign office.

Being here, at the University of Florida, has afforded me so many opportunities in such a short time. I cannot wait to see what the Fall semester has to offer.

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them down below.

With love,
Darby