Innovations Roadmap #1

Innovation [in-uh-vey-shunn]
Noun
1. Something new or different introduced: numerous innovations in the high-school curriculum
2. The act of innovating; introduction of new things or methods
(Definition courtesy of dictionary.com)
Topic: How can Innovation play a part in your campus experience?
One of the first things people on just about any college campus will tell you is that college is a place to find yourself. That’s partially the point of me taking the Innovations Roadmap class. This class is identifying a passion and running with it. How can you make a difference in your community, whether it be the close-knit community you grew up in or the global community. It can also be for the college campus. I can’t tell you how often I heard, “college is like an overly large smorgasbord.” They tell you to try bits of everything. In this way, innovation works into the college campus. You can try everything. You can make your college experience personal. By identifying what you like to do, you can come up with a hundred different ideas to make your experience unique. What’s that? You want to join a think tank? Go do it! You want to join a club? There are plenty out there, each with their own missions. You don’t want to do any of the options available and want to make up your own club or solve a problem or volunteer? No one’s stopping you!

My first college football game. No one stopped me from going. It was fun, I discovered.
Innovation is going to play a huge role for me on campus. First off, I don’t like going to campus activities because it’s always at an inconvenient time (way to go, programmers, for putting the events at night! Not all of us are night owls!). Secondly, it’s the same thing over and over again. If I wanted to jump up and down in time with the music, I’d do it in my dorm so I didn’t have to awkwardly bump into someone else. Third, most clubs I’ve looked at aren’t particularly matched with my interests.
I sat down to think a bit. What am I doing wrong? Everyone’s told me to try everything college has to offer, but I don’t like what college has to offer. It clashes with my personality. A way I’ll be able to enjoy what college has on my own terms is coming up with new ideas using my interests. For example, I noted the lack of a knitting or crocheting club. It should come to no surprise that I looked for this club. While not a community knitter/crocheter, I decided that the company of others and the possibility to discuss life while knitting/crocheting would be beneficial to me. After all, I can make friends! Isn’t that what people have been telling me about college? Go make new friends, because you’ll have them for the rest of your life? I decided to create one a few months ago. My only problem is time, school, organization, members, recruitment… However, with innovation, I can decide my plan of action. I can create this unique college experience for myself.
(From colgateconnect.org)

 

In addition to the calls of “enjoy everything college has to offer,” the warnings of “do NOT pigeonhole yourself and focus on one track” ring loud in my mind. I’ve had at least two teachers preach this to me. They say something similar to “don’t try to get out of college in 4 years or less. Enjoy college!” This sentiment has actually given me a panic idea. The teachers seem to be warning against deciding on what you want to do too quickly because otherwise you’ll make yourself miserable, or something similar to this. I know what to do with myself, but at the exact same time, I don’t know what to do with myself. I know what I want to do with myself. Following this warning, though, it seems like I’m not going to enjoy life and find myself as much as I should. Innovation, as a result, will allow me to explore my interests more deeply while still allowing me to pursue my major. If used as a method of exploration, innovation will allow me to take classes I find enjoyable while finding new pieces of information.
Innovation allows me to take what I think is a problem- the lack of suitable activities on campus- and my interests to find a solution to this problem. Maybe, at the end of my college years, I can look back on it and think, “Hey, I loved this!” Innovating is not only solving problems, but discovering yourself. I think that’s what I need to do.  I need to discover myself in college. Innovating will play a large part in my campus experience because I want a way to feel more comfortable on campus, so I’ve got to make up that way, all while finding myself. It sounds tough, but I think I can do it.
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