Elon’s organization fair is coming up this Friday and in honor of one of the biggest events of the fall, it seemed fitting to post an entry by a current student about an organization on Elon’s campus that has changed her life she found at the organization far that has shaped part of her collegiate experience.
When I headed eight hours away from home for college, I expected to learn, to grow and to be challenged. I already had an amazing group of friends at home, and even though I was excited to meet new people at school — I never imagined meeting people who would become my best friends.
But that’s exactly what happened.
But it didn’t happen right away. The transition to college life, just like anything else, takes time. Friends can be found anywhere and everywhere freshman year, but for me, some of the most meaningful relationships I made were through finding others who share in my passions, interests and beliefs.
I’ll always remember my first Org Fair — Organization Fair, that is. Every fall, more than 200 student organizations set up tables outside the Moseley Student Center and talk to students about joining their organization. If you do it right, you’ll end up signing up for a lot of emails, eating a lot of free food and hopefully honing in on two or three groups that you genuinely want to be a part of. Going to the Org Fair and getting involved was the best thing I could have done for myself freshman year.
I first heard about Elon’s chapter of Intervarsity, a college campus ministry, that day at the Org Fair. For one reason or another, I never attended a Tuesday night meeting until the first day of the spring semester. Let’s just say that first meeting was a good one, because I’ve hardly missed another since.
Intervarsity is like a family to me. It’s a place to laugh, to learn, to grow, to be challenged, to be poured into and to pour into others. I got involved in IV’s mentoring program where an upperclassmen girl and a freshman girl are paired together as “Mama Shark” and “Baby Shark,” I met incredible people, joined a small group and as my freshman year came to a close, I signed up for the spring retreat.
Spring retreat takes place every year in the mountains. The first time I went was a beautiful and relaxing weekend of hiking, laying in hammocks, hanging out with friends — and going on spontaneous adventures. I’ll never forget my freshman year spring retreat because one of our good friends decided it would be fun to forego our warm cabin and sleep outside on our last night — on top of the mountain. I’ll never forget that hike: it was about midnight, in the pitch dark, a group of fifteen college kids following behind a guy with only a cell phone light to lead the way up the side of a mountain.
When we finally made it to the top we were surprised to find an open shelter in the middle of a clearing. We made a fire and sang campfire songs before falling asleep beneath a sky full of stars. It was cold, but it was worth it. When I look back on my time in college, I know these are the moments I’ll always remember, with people I’ll never forget.
- Katy Steele ’14
Katy is a University Guide at Elon and originally from Centerville, Ohio. Right now, she is a Journalism major with a minor in Spanish. Her favorite thing about Elon? The amazing people she’s met who are helping her to grow into the person she’s meant to be!