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

Colbi Thykadavil is a first-year graduate student at Florida State University (FSU), studying for her Master of Applied American Politics and Policy. She graduated from FSU’s College of Business in the spring of 2022 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management while simultaneously being inducted into the Garnet and Gold Key’s Senior Hall of Fame. Colbi spent her time as an undergrad taking on several leadership roles including serving as SGA Director of Cabinet Affairs, Student Body Vice President, Union and becoming Chief Operating Officer of Kappa Alpha Theta.

Her Campus (HC): Tell me a little bit about how you began to get involved at Florida State.

Colbi Thykadavil (CT): The first club I got involved with at FSU was the Belly Dancers. They were all about body positivity and culture through dance. I joined them and then joined the Zombie Apocalypse club, but that was more of a one-time thing. The Belly Dancers struggled to get people to come to their free Monday night classes, and I loved it, so I figured other people would love it. I ended up contacting the Union people to pump [the Belly Dancers] more. They told me I should consider running for Union Board, and so I went through the whole election process and got the position.

HC: How did that kickstart your involvement with leadership positions at FSU?

CT: Through [Union Board] I saw that I could interview for the Executive Branch, and from there, I got the role of Director of Cabinet Affairs. This dealt with RSOs, organizations, fraternities and sororities and all different entities on campus and trying to bring them together. After that, I started a sexual assault initiative on campus with the Health and Wellness Department inside the Division of Student Affairs with Angela Chong. I understood that to solve a problem you have to change the culture. Angela Chong and I helped create the Sexual Misconduct Module that students take before registering for classes. After that, I ran for Student Body Vice President. That was terrifying.

HC: How did you run for Student Body Vice President?

CT: I ran for Student Body Vice President with The Movement. The way it works is they set up political parties and then they do interviews for positions, so I interviewed for Student Body Vice President, and then I got it. After that, I did all I could to help out the Student Body. At the same time, I was Director of Cabinet Affairs, and I was Vice President of Kappa Alpha Theta.

HC: What was your experience as Vice President like?

CT: It was a very big learning experience. I do not think that there is anything I cannot do now; I might be a professional at conflict resolution. A big component of my job was working with agencies, like the Women’s Student Union, Asian American Student Union, etc. A big priority for my agenda was to make sure the agencies cooperated because they represent the diversity on campus. I wanted to make sure they spread inclusivity and felt like a home for people on campus rather than a border. There were a lot of things they made me do that I wasn’t sure I was qualified for, but it worked out really well. I also dealt with block seating at the beginning of 2021 and presented to the Board of Trustees that this did not work based on messaging, underlying principles, and how nothing was working together.

HC: In terms of what you want to do with your future, how has this experience impacted that?

CT: After last year, I realized my favorite thing in the world is helping people. My favorite thing in the world. I do want to pursue law school after this and gravitate towards being more of an advocate rather than making decisions for people. College made me realize I am a very exceptional problem solver. Give me anything, and I’ll either change the problem, or I’ll fix it.

HC: What advice would you give to students who want to get more involved?

CT: The basic thing is to find your passions. But honestly, don’t stress about it. I found something that was fun, and then I found other people that made me feel like I was doing something worth something else. I feel like everyone gets caught up in the words of the titles, and that’s not healthy. Figure out how you can have fun and not go to college and just get a degree. The worst part is that people don’t just take advantage of the involvement, the resources and the free things. Just go get the free things; it’s awesome. It’s not necessarily about participating, it’s about being in the room. To get involved, you have to have fun a little bit. I mean, I did zombies and belly dancing, and it was the most fun I ever had. And then, I discovered what I wanted to do.

Throughout undergrad alone, Colbi took every opportunity that crossed her path. As she progressed through her academic career, she found where her passions lie. She now continues with the same mentality as she takes on grad school embodying the girlboss she is.

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An FSU student from Jacksonville, Florida, studying Psychology with a minor in Criminology.