For the past 18 years my mom has woke me up with a hug on the morning of my birthday. Last Saturday was my 19th birthday, but it was also my first birthday away from home. I didn’t wake up to my mom’s hug or to my dad cooking blueberry pancakes. Instead my mom’s hug was replaced by a group of my friends busting into my room early in the morning loudly wishing me a Happy Birthday!
What does it mean to lead and how can one be a leader? I have always had my own ideas about leadership and what it means to be a leader, but it’s not until this year that I am really afforded the opportunity to truly explore this concept. The opportunity I speak of is the Experiential Leadership Institute (ELI). ELI is a yearlong leadership program for sophomores that involves projects, small groups, guest speakers, and discussion that all revolve around “knowing self”, “building community”, and “impacting the world”. One of the main focuses of ELI involves the leadership projects that student groups propose and these projects involve instituting positive change in the Gonzaga community. So not only do we develop what it means to be a leader, but we do it while also practicing leadership and being leaders on campus. Also, what’s nice is that all of this comes with the valuable experience of already being here a year. And since ELI is a sophomore program, you do not have to decide right away if you want to join and you have all of freshman year to experience different roles around campus and determine if ELI might be the right fit for you.
Living on campus for the past month and a half, I’ve had the opportunity to meet new people and try a lot of new things. Gonzaga is not the type of campus where you have to dig deep to find something to do. Just take a stroll through campus on week day evening and you may stumble upon a club meeting or some cool informational session. I am constantly amazed, and a little overwhelmed, at how much goes on at GU.
Basketball games are not the only events Gonzaga students camp out for. My roommate and I arrived an hour and a half early, and there was already a line of more than 30 people line up down the hall. What could we all be waiting for at 6:30 on a Friday night? Nothing less than the Boone St. Hooligans!
As many of you who read this blog already know, Gonzaga is a wonderfully unique place to experience college education. It is located near a lively, active, and exciting city country, which means there is always something to do; always events going on or activities to take part in. So we students from GU student communications team, decided to come up with a GU bucket list. A list consisting of the most iconic activities around Gonzaga and in the Spokane area that you must try while a student at GU. In no particular order, here are ten of the most important Zagtivities that help form a student’s identity as a GU student, they are the unique things that we all must do to draw ourselves closer together as a community:
The day I received my acceptance letter from Gonzaga my heart filled with so many emotions; I was shocked, excited and nervous all at the same time. In the following months I patiently waited to receive small bits of information from GU. I was especially excited to find out my dorm and roommate assignment. Every day during the summer I checked my Zagmail in hopes of finally knowing whom I would be living with for the year. However it wasn’t until the beginning of August that my torture ended.
If you only take one thing away from this post, let it be this: Study Abroad. I mean it. At Gonzaga, 40 percent of our students will have studied abroad at one point. The national average is only 2 percent. That’s because here at Gonzaga we make it easy. We just added over 50 new programs that fit every major. Also, if you go during the school year, all of your financial aid transfers over, so why not?
“Home is where the heart is.” We’ve all heard this before, and have probably rolled our eyes at it. Although it’s cheesy and cliché, it still has an element of truth to it. For many of you, “home” has been the same house, family, friends, pets, and maybe even house for almost 18 years and that’s all about to change. When you’re picking where to go to college you’re not only picking a school, you’re also deciding where you’re going to make your home for the next four years. This can be overwhelming and intimidating, maybe even a bit scary. It’s completely natural to feel this way, but I’m here to tell you that you have nothing to worry about.
One of the questions that is often asked by prospective students is: “What is there to do on campus?” In case you didn’t know, Gonzaga currently has over 100 active and recognized student clubs that cover a wide range of interests. These clubs don’t only have weekly meetings, but they also organize and plan events, coordinate service projects, have food sales, put on dances, plan trips, and do fund raisers, among many other things.
GEL Weekend 2012 was definitely an experience that will never be forgotten. It was my first time visiting Gonzaga and I knew for sure that it would not be my last because I had already committed to GU just a few days before.