When you ask most college graduates what they enjoyed most about college, you’re likely to hear about the various non-academic experiences they participated in. They’ll tell you to get involved, and to take advantage of everything college has to offer. It’s great advice! As a sophomore, I have been lucky enough to participate in a year and a half of some of Nazareth’s amazing programs, all put together by clubs, sports teams, and organizations throughout campus. Everyday there is something exciting to do, and it’s always a great excuse to take a study break! My best experiences have included joining a sports team, watching Naz athletic games, going on retreats, hosting a radio show, and so much more!
As a freshmen, I wanted to get involved on campus and be active at the same time. Rowing for the crew team seemed pretty interesting, and who wouldn’t love to be on a boat in the water for a few hours a week. Between learning all the ins and outs of the sport and how to work together so each boat member moved as one, to cheering on the other boats during the regatta season, rowing was such a fun experience. After an injury, I decided to see what else Naz had to offer in terms of club sports. The following semester, I joined the Quidditch team, where we play a full contact game mixing rugby, handball, and dodgeball. The rules and the game equipment are based off of the Harry Potter series, and even include running around on broomsticks. Joining a club sport opens a world of opportunities, from meeting new friends to stepping out of your comfort zone.
The semester can get pretty hectic, and the Center for Spirituality is fantastic at planning weekend retreats on and off campus to help you reset your mind and focus on what’s important. A highly memorable and much anticipated retreat is the trip to Mount Savior Monastery in Elmira, where we spend the weekend chasing sheep, reflecting on our semester, and becoming more aware of ourselves. Just recently, sophomores had the opportunity to spend the night in cabins on Silver Lake, getting some fresh air and soaking in the fall weather, all while doing activities to reflect on the previous school year. I benefitted greatly from this experience and came back in time for midterms as a much more grounded student. Overall, the Center for Spirituality is a fantastic campus resource filled with friendly faces that are willing to do anything to help you feel centered during the semester.
Something a lot of students don’t know about Nazareth is that it has a fully functioning, student-run broadcast radio station! Some of the best experiences I have had have been in the studio, creating playlists and sharing the music I love with my friends throughout campus. My friends and I have a show called TheEcho, and we always play a variety of super fun music and plan theme nights such as “throwbacks” or “Disney night”. Not only is it a great chance to learn about broadcasting, but you also get a chance to improve your public speaking skills over the airwaves.
When I’m not playing music in the radio station, supporting our sports teams is another one of my favorite ways to spend a study break. Nazareth’s hockey team knows how to put on a good game, and it’s always a great time going to the rink to watch. If I haven’t frozen by the end of the game, free skate is a great way to get some ice time and have fun with my friends. It’s only four dollars to rent skates, and it’s always fun to watch everyone skate around the rink for a few hours before heading back to campus.
With so many different activities and clubs on campus, students have no reason to ever feel like they don’t have anything to do. Beyond my experiences in various clubs, I also enjoy participating in the numerous service activities that Naz prides itself on. Serving the community in any aspect possible is a great way to get involved. The Undergraduate Association sends weekly emails about campus life and also list any upcoming volunteer opportunities. Another fantastic and highly anticipated event each year is the Up All Night charity event. With a themed late-night party in the fall semester, and a trip to Dave and Buster’s in the spring, it’s always a fun time supporting a good cause. Even though most of us are at Nazareth for 4 years, there’s so much to do and so many activities to check out that it’s almost hard to find time for them all!