Hi there, Lauren here!
If you ask any UConn student how they managed to bridge the transition from high school to college, most of them would tell you about how they got involved on campus. UConn has more than 400 student-run clubs and organizations to choose from, enough options to continue an activity you were involved with in high school or try something completely new! Coming from Maryland and not knowing anyone, I knew this was going to be my chance at meeting people who could potentially become my future friends!
Although I continued with my interest in the global human rights campaign thru the founding of a chapter of Invisible Children at UConn, I also tried many other clubs during my freshman year. UConn offers an Involvement Fair twice a year, giving students a chance to see all of the organizations they can join. Apprehensively, I attended the Fair my freshman year, looking for something new and exciting to be a part of. I left the Fair having signed up for about ten different clubs, everything from the Nutmeg Yearbook to the Trampoline Club, not really knowing how things were going to work out.
I should also mention that I was very involved in my high school’s musical theatre and choral programs. I was a member of our school’s show choir ensemble (yes, we were Glee dorks and proud of it) where we competed with other Maryland high schools. After three years of this, I thought I was pretty darn talented. However, looking back, the problem was that I was completely delusional about my dancing ability. I mastered the simplest pataburays and step-touches, but beyond that, I just wasn’t good. Not that I knew that then, but trust me, I’ve watched my mother’s tapes of our concerts.
Anyway, with all of my Fosse-caliber promise, I decided to sign up for the Ballroom Dancing Club. Attending the first meeting with a fellow freshman from my floor, I adamantly tried the steps the teacher taught us. Luckily, my friend was extremely honest about my abilities. Even the instructor came over a few (hundred) times to correct my form. I slowly came to realize that although I enjoyed dancing, my simple knowledge just didn’t translate to the art of the tango or the foxtrot. If he was going to teach a dance that involved continuous pataburays, then I’m your girl, but beyond that, I simply couldn’t get it.
Leaving the class, I realized that ballroom dancing was probably not going to be more one of my fortes. However, although I was no Ginger Rogers, the experience taught me that I wasn’t going to be good at everything. By even showing up to the first meeting, I learned what it was like to break out of my comfort zone by entering an unfamiliar situation with new people I didn’t know. Interestingly enough, I met one of my future roommates at the first meeting, so it wasn’t all a waste.
I want to stress how important it is to try everything UConn has to offer. Although ballroom dancing wasn’t for me, I am proud of myself for trying. The experience didn’t deter me from liking to dance, but instead, it pushed me to find other activities I enjoyed (and was better at) more. So try ballroom dancing, the Equestrian Club, or even the Krav Maga Club, as you never know what you might learn about yourself in the process.