Don’t Call it a Comeback Tour: Get involved before your burn out

Amar Batra encourages new students to get involved on campus in his latest column. (Jon Sammis/The Daily Campus)

Yesterday was the involvement fair. Over 600 clubs and organizations went to Fairfield way in order to hopefully gain some new members. The majority of the new student body probably also attended to see what cool clubs UConn has to offer. But I know for a fact that there is a select few of you who didn’t attend. This column today is for you.

College is hard. We take around 13 credits per semester which means that we basically spend all our time in class or studying. When we aren’t in class, we are more than likely in the gym, eating or just trying to find some shut-eye. It seems like it’s basically impossible to find any free time to relax or pursue something cool. Like I said, college is hard. But what if it didn’t have to be?

Right now, most of you freshmen (or new UConn students) are probably really dedicated to everything going on and have already planned out your future. There is no chance of you ever burning out because you’re pursuing the only thing you’ve ever truly wanted to pursue. Sound familiar? I’m sure it does because almost every single college freshman has said the exact same words.

Four years ago, in the Fall of 2013, I came to UConn as a giddy freshman actuarial science student. I had grown up loving math and UConn had a great actuarial science program, so it seemed like the perfect fit. I knew I would never get bored or tired of the work because it was math.

But then it became hard, because college is hard. I found myself having very little free time to do anything. I couldn’t even attend a game on the weekends because I had almost no free time. College just seemed like a lot of extra work without any real pay-off. You could say I needed a break. Luckily for me, there were two places on campus that I could find that break.

See, for a long time I’ve been interested in photography. Freshman year I tried to push myself to find interesting things to take photos of, but it was hard to motivate myself to actually get out and take photos. Then sophomore year I joined The Daily Campus and Photo Club. Both organizations gave me an outlet to try new forms of photography and also experience new things. I was able to take an actual break throughout the week by going out to shoot while also knowing there was an end goal. I wasn’t just wasting time.

For me, getting involved also helped me find what I was truly passionate about. Through The Daily Campus and Photo Club I realized I wanted to combine my interests in photography and math and pursue multimedia journalism.

I’m not saying getting involved could change your life. I’m just saying that joining a club and getting involved will make college more bearable.

I’ve been here a very long time. I’ve seen people get so buried under college work that they completely burned out and dropped out of school. I’ve seen people become so wrapped up in their major that they never stepped back to see what college has to offer. When they graduated they had no idea what they had missed.

We change so much in college. We literally go from timid high school graduates to the next generation of leaders. With so much happening in these formative years, don’t you want to look back on college with happy thoughts?

You have the rest of your life ahead of you. Don’t ruin it by ignoring everything you’re interested in. So close your textbook, leave your room and go find your passion. You’ll be surprised what it might do for you. 


Amar Batra is a senior staff photographer and weekly columnist for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email amar.batra@uconn.edu. He tweets at @amar_batra19.