In high school, I thoroughly remember all the clubs, organizations, and opportunities that arose to be involved in. However, it was rare that many people actually DID THEM. Going into college, I promised myself I would not stick to that same mindset that all of those opportunities are unimportant and “boring.” I knew that I wanted to be involved, and somehow influential in other peoples lives. But I didn’t know how. I have to say though, all of the opportunities that APU places in the palm of every single students hand are worthwhile. I would fair to say that they give you too many opportunities (if thats possible?). I have spent many nights debating what things I wanted to do the most, because I am often in the dilemma of being overly committed to too many things.
There are opportunities straight out of freshmen year, ranging from being an Ambassador (hosting students that attend the amazing All Access Weekends and hosting other prospective students) to being in a D-Group (Discipleship Group with peers to have Bible studies, pray, and grow in your faith) to tutoring kids in the area to serving in missions trips to reaching out to the elderly community to Mexico Outreach trips to getting a mentor.
During my first week here at APU, I found out about a group called Young Life. It immediately was a huge tug at my heart and it was something I knew I would thrive in. Young Life is a non-denominational Christian ministry that reaches out to teenagers in a way thats authentic and approachable. Its similar to what most teenagers know to be “youth group,” except its less formal and more based around being crazy, having fun, and hanging out with the youth. I started getting involved and learning about it and next thing you know, I am now a leader at one of the Young Life groups at a nearby high school. The other Young Life leaders are extraordinary and super stoked about their faith. This program has given me the opportunity to reach into other kids lives the way that people reach into my own life. Its awesome to get opportunities to give back what you have already been blessed with.
I would encourage you to be in prayer and consider what things you want to be involved with once you come to APU. You will never in your life get the kind of opportunities as you do in college. College is a time of really figuring out who you are and where you want to go in your life. It is a time of defining your faith and growing in your friendships. All of these opportunities that APU gives you once you arrive on campus only ENHANCE all the things you hope to gain out of college.
7 Reasons to Get Involved During Freshmen Year
1. You get to meet a LOT of new people- amazing people- that you might not get a change to meet otherwise
2. With all the schoolwork, tests, and essays, its a good way to set time aside for something you really enjoy
3. How involved you are is often said to “make or break” your experience during college
4. A requirement for graduation is Ministry and Service (MAS) credits, which you probably should start from the get-go, or risk a very overwhelming senior year
5. There are enough opportunities to be able to get involved with something your really passionate about, and with the stresses of college, that passion is necessary to push you along
6. Being involved is a huge way to grow in your relationship with God- being able to serve others as Jesus did and use your strengths to benefit the community of APU and Azusa alike
7. Its fun