Getting Involved: Extracurriculars at WashU

(Right when it all began!)

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a great first month of 2019. I’m really enjoying my first few weeks of the semester. I’ve loved getting to spend time with my friends after almost a month apart. Because WashU has an add/drop period, meaning that students can spend the first two weeks of the semester trying out different classes before finalizing their schedules, I was able to choose a great mix of classes that I really enjoy. On top of having a great time in my classes and hanging out with both old and new friends in the dining halls and dorms, my favorite part of this semester so far has been my extracurriculars.

I first signed up for student organizations at the fall activities fair, which featured hundreds of clubs. I talked to many group leaders, put my name on mailing lists, and, most importantly, got tons of free stuff. It’s really easy to learn about activities during the first few weeks of both the fall and spring semesters, as clubs hold multiple open meetings to give students the opportunity to get a feel for them.

The weekend after the activities fair I auditioned for student theatre. I had performed in plays and musicals all throughout high school and was excited to continue exploring that passion in college, even if it wasn’t what I wanted to major in. In addition to multiple Performing Arts department productions, two student theatre groups produced shows in the fall. I ended up getting cast in a student-written play called “The Realness” produced by the experimental theatre group “Thyrsus.” Being a part of that show gave me the opportunity to join a strong community right after arriving on campus and inspired me to continue to keep theatre in my life at WashU. This semester I joined the cast of Kids on Campus, a sketch comedy group (think Saturday Night Live but with college kids), and am excited to perform our bi-annual show next month! No matter what kind of performance you are interested in, including theatre, dance, and/or music, there are tons of different opportunities on campus!

In addition to performing, I have gotten to pursue my love for theatre through hosting my very own radio show that features songs from musicals and film/TV soundtracks. Last semester I completed training to become a DJ at KWUR, our campus radio station. Now every week I host the “Looney Show Tunes Show,” for which I get to choose all the songs and share the random theatre fun facts I’ve learned over the years. KWUR is also a great social opportunity, as the station hosts really fun concerts and DJ showcases that are easy ways to meet new people.

(In the KWUR studio about to host my first show!)

The extracurricular I devote the most time to is Student Life, WashU’s independent student newspaper. I joined a few weeks in September and have since the written articles about campus news, events, and arts & entertainment reviews. I’ve gotten to interview notable public figures such as Antoni Porowski of Netflix’s “Queer Eye” and 2016 Republican primary candidate and former CEO of HP Carly Fiorina. This semester I am co-editor of the Scene section, which includes features, experience pieces, and coverage of campus events and communities. I am really enjoying getting to not only write for the paper but also curate what kind of content we produce. The great thing about Student Life is that you can be as involved or uninvolved as you want, from writing one article a year to writing, designing, and/or copy editing for every one of our bi-weekly issues!

This doesn’t even make a dent into the hundreds of student organizations and extracurricular opportunities on campus. Your first year of college is a great time to learn about every group you’re interested (which will almost definitely be a lot, as there is such a variety of options, which you can explore here) before finding the right balance of activities. Just remember that what’s right for other people might not be what’s right for you. Luckily, WashU is a great environment for students to discover what truly makes them happy.

(Interviewing Antoni Porowski of “Queer Eye”)