Too Busy? Still, Don’t Let These Chances Pass You By
By Madeline Hong '13
I think it is safe to assume that we can all agree that college students are highly independent, especially us liberal arts college students at Amherst, where we have no distribution requirements, and are encouraged to discover our own passions and embark on our own paths. We can create our own majors and we can even take “academic leaves” in pursuit of our interests and curiosities for an indefinite amount of time. And I am a fan—I really am. However, a shocking and unsettling idea occurred to me a few days ago. Does having all this freedom to explore our own interests inhibit us from being socially active on campus? Are we too consumed by our own busy lives that we fail to engage in or even recognize the community of Amherst?

This idea occurred to me a few days ago when I was at Val and I noticed a few table tents. I realized that half the table tents promoted their events with free food. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love food. I love free food. But how sad is it that clubs have resorted to bribing to get their activities running? How many times have you witnessed people who come only for the promised treats and leave immediately afterwards? Second, I must admit, I was shocked at the number of organizations I had had no idea existed. What a shame. Then I realized that I couldn’t be the only one. Most of you, like me, probably have no idea what is out there in the Amherst community. And we’re probably missing out.

And so, I am writing for The Student, partly abusing this section, to talk about two things on campus that are coming up and that I think everyone should be a part of … or at least be aware of. The first is the Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) conference that is to take place on Oct. 17. Given that everyone on campus is, more than likely, a leader of some organization, I think everyone should take advantage of this opportunity to learn how to become a better leader. This, in my opinion, is what makes the conference so unique. So often, we hear about why we need to be leaders. This conference is also unique in that it trains us how, not why. This year, the LEAD conference features workshops on how to build a leadership team, taking leadership in time management and leading activities on campus. And if you need that extra bribing, yes, there will be free food! The event starts with a brunch — not at Val, but at Lewis-Sebring!

Second, everyone absolutely has to check out the Amherst Select Internship Program (ASIP). For those of you who don’t know, ASIP features opportunities sponsored by alumni and parents. ASIP is an Amherst-only network — the employers are looking specifically for Amherst undergraduates. Thus, the real benefit to gaining access to the ASIP network is that students will avoid being one out of a million applicants from all over the world. Moreover, some internships are funded! So why wouldn’t you apply? I do not ever want to hear people worry about securing an internship for the summer, especially when they didn’t even tap into easily available resources. To be a part of ASIP, all students need to do is first submit an application by Oct. 22, and then engage in an interview. If accepted, students are asked to attend a workshop.

So please, busy Amherst students, check out these two opportunities! I know we are all busy and overloaded with coursework and other interests, but really, by closing in on our own usual habits and activities, we are missing out on a lot of great opportunities!

Issue 04, Submitted 2010-09-28 23:45:07