Be a person of many hats: Get involved on campus

By Ryan Hall Juice Columnist

 I was sitting in Briggs Library early last October, passing time between classes, when I decided to inquire about writing for The Collegian.  In the weeks that followed, I would frequently write articles for the Juice section of the paper. My topics were sporadic at first, but I soon found a niche in reporting on theater and a series I called, “Silly Hat Chats.” 

The first Silly Hat Chat came about as an attempt to mimic the interview style of James Lipton and his show “Inside the Actor’s Studio.” It featured Jacob Hofer, an active member of State University Theater and was placed in the award-winning 100 years of Hobo Day issue. While my piece surely had nothing to do with the success of that issue, I still hold the fact it was included at all as a mark of pride. 

I quickly realized the potential of the Silly Hat Chat idea as a way to boost involvement in on-campus clubs and organizations. As the weeks went by, I sought out unique and sometimes uncommon groups to help build awareness as well as involvement. The hat portion itself was merely a way to entice readers to the article with absurd images of people wearing unusual headwear. Its true purpose was to represent a constant message to get involved.

I spent the first two years of my time here primarily sitting in the dorms, not really getting involved in much of anything. My friends and I would sit around, often complaining about how boring Brookings was or how little there was to do here. We placed the blame on our situation without ever thinking it was a lack of trying on our part. 

Come junior year, I accepted a position as a Community Assistant, which opened my eyes to the plentiful opportunities for on-campus involvement. When I left the busy lifestyle of a CA the following year, I felt like time had slowed down and I was returning to a life of boredom in Brookings. It was at that time that I saw an advertisement in The Collegian for a columnist position and I thought, “why not?”

My involvement in The Collegian led to an appreciation for on-campus involvement, culminating in me joining the History Club, as well as taking a massive step outside of my comfort zone to take part in Capers. Each of these gave me something fun and engaging to look forward to regardless of how dull or stressful a week seemed. The memories I now have thanks to a choice to simply get involved highlight a year that may have otherwise existed in lethargy and boredom.

Since this is my final article for The Collegian, I have one final chance to advocate on-campus involvement to anyone reading this column. Get involved in something. My silly hat chats have shown the variety of groups that exist on campus, and they were a mere seven of over 100 opportunities offered at SDSU. 

A wise professor once told me to make as many memories as I could while I am still young and able. Create memories, and take risks in pursuit of stories that will last well into old age. Ask questions (some of them silly), write stories and pursue any outlet of involvement that may pique an interest. Break free from the sense of self-established boredom and make an active attempt at something worthwhile. Opportunity has an expiration date. I’d say to sit back and let it pass by would be foolish—or dare I say: silly.

Thank you, as always, for reading.