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Getting Involved: A 2-In-1 Exclusive Look Into Becoming an Honors Colloqium and UROP Leader on Campus

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

The transition from high school to college can be one of the scariest parts of our now young adult lives. Moving to a new area, living under the same roof as someone whom you have maybe texted twice, and managing a whole new workload of classes and assignments that actually matter, can be tough without the right resources. As intimidated freshmen, we often look to upperclassmen and leaders who have “been there” and “done that” to help guide us in the right direction.

For me, these guides are my Honors Colloqium and Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) leaders. Questions about a particular class? They got it. Unsure where to eat dinner tomorrow night on a budget? They are your guide. Need help finding out about research and extracurricular activities on campus? I think you get the point. These individuals are your one-stop shop for all your campus needs. These positions are not only beneficial for newbie freshmen like me, but also are just as enriching for the leaders themselves. Being able to help students who are in the positions they were once in, getting paid/volunteer hours to do something they love, and becoming experts in the fields they are interested in are just some of the perks these leaders enjoy. Now that we know just how important they are, let’s find out how we can go about landing these  positions on campus and become one of those inspirational leaders ourselves. I talked to Paulina Adkins, a first-time UROP leader, and Josh Nightingale, a first-time Honors Colloqium leader to gain some insight into why they decided to get involved and their favorite parts so far.

Her Campus (HC): When deciding on how to get involved on campus, what made you choose to become a UROP leader?

Paulina Adkins (PA): Growing up, I was always shy and struggled with public speaking. During my college years, I wanted to do something to get out of my comfort zone and knew I wanted to do something that would help me work on my leadership skills. UROP isn’t something I thought I would stay involved in after completing the program, but I was so inspired by the leaders I had. They were not only passionate about their research, but also role models to that I was able to look up and gain insight. These two things combined made me want to become a UROP leader.

HC: What was the application process like for becoming a UROP leader and was there any training that you had to undergo?

PA: The application process was very straightforward. I filled out an application and was invited in for a group interview. The group interview was conducted by other UROP leaders, which allowed me to ask questions about their experiences and made the process more meaningful. Once I was offered and accepted the position in the fall, I signed up for a training course that worked with my spring schedule. The training class met once a week. We were matched with someone based on a survey and worked with that person for the entire semester. Each week, we worked with our partner to create a presentation and lesson plan. Throughout the semester, we had to present some of our lessons to the rest of the class so we could get practice. We also had diversity training, Title IX training, and a few other required pieces of training.

HC: If you were to give one piece of advice to a student interested in becoming a UROP leader, what would it be?

PA: One piece of advice I would give to a student interested in becoming a UROP leader is to put yourself out there and do it! You never know how something will impact your life until you get involved in it. Teaching might turn out to be one of your biggest passions (or it could become the thing you despise most), but you’ll never know until you try. I never imagined myself in this position, but I have truly enjoyed every part of it and I’m so glad I decided to get involved.

HC: What is your favorite part and perk about working in this position?

PA: My favorite part about this position is getting to work with and inspire students to get involved not only in research but also on campus. I was in the same shoes last year and I hope to provide my students with the same amazing experience I had. An additional perk is meeting and networking with other UROP leaders.

HC: When deciding how to get involved on campus, what made you decide to become an Honors Colloqium leader?

Josh Nightingale (JN): As a freshman, I remember being very excited about all of the opportunities and resources available to me but also extremely overwhelmed. I wanted to make the best of my undergraduate experience but wasn’t yet sure how I was going to do so. Almost immediately after stepping foot into my Honors Colloquium class and hearing what my leader had to say, I was drawn to the position. My leader had always been a shoulder we students could lean on and an ear that would always listen. He provided us with lists of the local entertainment and food places around Tallahassee to help cure our homesickness and provided us with many networking opportunities among the other students in the class. I knew by the end of the year that this position would be something I would apply for and strive to obtain.

HC: What was the application process like for becoming an Honors Colloqium leader and was there any training that you had to undergo?

JN: The process of applying for this position was not difficult at all. Applications for this position open in early October and close on October 31st. The application is straightforward and requires you to input basic information and has a few written response questions that follow. Once your application is reviewed and accepted you will be placed into an Honors Colloquium Leader training course to learn how to properly engage with students and teach a class. After this selected students will be enrolled in an honors colloquium class where they will begin teaching.

HC: If you were to give one piece of advice to a student interested in becoming a UROP leader what would it be?

JN: In life, you must always try to do what makes you most afraid. It is when you step outside of your comfort zone that the most growth occurs. Take it from me, a shy and reserved person, when I say that anyone can do this. The only thing that matters is how badly you want to. Don’t let your lack of confidence or fear of public speaking get in the way of this wonderful opportunity available to you. Once you put yourself out there and try new things I promise you won’t regret it. I’m glad I got involved when I did and wouldn’t trade this experience for the world.

HC: What is your favorite part and perk about working in this position?

JN: My favorite part of working in this position has got to be meeting new honors students and helping them along their undergraduate journey. Every new face I see, I catch a glimpse of the freshman I once was and feel a sense of pride for what that little freshman is doing now. My favorite perk is that I am getting paid and earning honors points while I am doing what I love. Sounds like a win win-win to me.

You heard it from them first! Don’t be afraid to get involved and spread your wings. It is the scariest moments and the ones that push you so far out of your comfort zone that will become the most enriching and memorable experiences you have. I hope this article inspires you just as much as it inspired me to go out and try new things. You simply never know what you are capable of until you try! Now go out and get those honors points, extra money, and most importantly connections and memories. After all, you are only a college student once!

Go check out these Instagram pages for more information and updates regarding applications!

UROP: https://www.instagram.com/fsu_cre/

Honors: https://www.instagram.com/fsuhonors/

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Hi, I'm Paige! I am currently a freshman at Florida State majoring in Finance and minoring in Economics. When I'm not writing articles for HerCampus, you can find me reading everything ranging from cheesy rom-coms to "knock your socks off" thrillers, scrolling through Pinterest, catching up on the latest vogue articles, or rewatching Gilmore girls for the 7th time!