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Get Involved!

Posted: February 1, 2012

A look at how my involvement in organizations through the Penn State College of Ag Sciences helped me grow and opened new doors for opportunity.

If I was asked to pick my favorite spot of campus for class, the Penn State Forest Resources building on Ag Hill would win my vote. During the day it’s full of students coming and going from classes, completing homework in the lobby’s overstuffed leather chairs or chatting with professors in the hall. The comfy couches in the glass atrium overlook a beautiful view of Central Pennsylvania’s mountains. On numerous occasions I have found myself spending time here to catch up on some reading. When the sun sets, however, the building does not go to sleep. Ag Hill bustles from sunrise to sunset—and long after. On Wednesday nights you can find me at the Forest Resources building, attending bi-weekly meetings for two of the three organizations I belong to.

College of Ag Students are very involved in the university and the community. It would be fair to say that nearly every student in the college is involved in a club, organization, or team in some way. Clubs have been a way for me to get involved with the university, to become a better leader, and to make friends and meet new people who share similar interests.

I am a member of the Small and Exotic Animal Club (an animal interest organization), the Penn State Bass Fishing Club, and Ag Advocates—a select group of College of Ag Sciences students who serve as student ambassadors to the college. My active role in all three organizations has been rigorous, but my involvement keeps me focused and motivated and has provided endless benefits to me as a student and an individual.

When I was in high school, I would never have guessed that I would be spending weekends waist-deep in a State College trout stream or fishing competitively for my university. It is now with pride that I wear my Penn State Bass Fishing jersey from Virginia to Michigan, and have competed in three college series tournaments. Nor would I have guessed that I would be waking at 8 a.m. on Saturdays to volunteer at spay/neuter clinics for feral cats—a cause that is very important to me. I can now confidently assist vets and preform minor procedures in animal care. (These experiences also provide me a much needed break from the books!)

On my first day as a college freshmen, I would have cringed if someone had suggested that I get up and talk in front of a group of 50 fellow students. However, now I do so on a weekly basis and have gained confidence and broadened my communication skills. Serving as an officer in my organizations, I have gained leadership skills that will be vital in any career path I choose. I have gained these skills and so much more through my involvement in Penn State College of Ag Sciences clubs.

Opportunities have been widely available to me through the College of Ag Sciences, and all I have needed to do was reach out and take advantage of them. My advice to incoming freshman: Get involved!

-Jessica