Name: Sam Shaw
Year: 2nd year
Major: International Studies with a Drama minor
Career Aspirations: To become a radio or talk show host
Favorite TV Personality: Ellen DeGeneres
During his 1st year at UCI, Sam Shaw had accomplished more than most students have in 4. In just one year, Sam had placed UC Irvine in the Guiness Book of World Records, gotten his own local radio show, and gained officer positions in two different offices of ASUCI. How did Sam accomplish all of this in such little time?
Sam was laying in his dorm room bed when he had en epiphany. He thought, “we have 20,000 plus students on campus. Why don’t we break a record?” He wrote it down on a post it note (he loves post-it notes) and the next day he flipped through a copy of the Guiness Book of World Records. There it was, in the mass participation section of the book: “The most people playing the single largest game of dodgeball.” It was perfect. It was the biggest event that people could participate in and the biggest event that people could enjoy.
Not everyone agreed with Sam. As surprisingly as it seems, given his charismatic, generous and confident personality, people told Sam no. No, they could not help him. No, they don’t think he can do it. Sam was not discouraged. In fact, this negativity only fueled his passion and his drive to make Super Dodge Bowl a reality.
As many of us know, the first attempt at UCI’s Super Dodgebowl had failed. It wasn’t the problem of participation. In fact, online registration of students had been doing pretty well. The problems were financial and logistical. Without funding, UCI Super Dodgebowl could not rent out a space or purchase hundreds of dodgeballs required for the game by May 2010. When Sam came to the realization that it just was not going to work, he was devastated. “I was really emotional about it. I called my mom for two weeks. It killed me. “
Lucky for Sam, his involvement in ASUCI helped him move forward. After talking with his ASUCI staff, he realized he could make UCI Super Dodgebowl a Fall 2010 Welcome Week event. This gave Sam even more funding than he had needed in May to hold the event at the ARC, and the event got moved to the Bren Events Center.
At the Bren, Sam was watching his “child” as he called it, when he was bombarded with information that people were leaving the event and the world record may fail to be broken. Sam was up in a frenzy. No, this cannot be happening! And then suddenly came the announcement that UCI… had done it. UCI had broken the world record for the most people playing the single largest game of dodgeball. “I definitely cried. I can confidently say that,” Sam said.
If it weren’t for his passion and persistence, UCI Super Dodgebowl may never have happened. In Sam’s own words, UCI’s Super Dodgebowl “showed the entire student body that if you can dream it, you can do it, as long as you really want it and you are persistent.”
To other students who want to pursue their dreams, Sam advises you to begin with your goal, no matter how big or small it is. “The goal can be essentially anything. It could be remembering to call your mom at the bus stop or scheduling an event. But it has to be something you are passionate about. I was so passionate about Super Dodgebowl, that only 1% of it was stressful,” Sam explains. He goes on, “Set that goal first then find your route to that goal. That route is different for everyone.”
When it comes to achieving your goals, Sam advises students, “Don’t limit yourself. Truly believe you can do anything. People can truly do anything if they put their minds to it” Sam suggests these may be his own personal optimistic and unrealistic beliefs, but he believes it is better to be optimistic and unrealistic than pessimistic and limiting. “I love those ‘Dream BIG’ pins from the Career Center. I look at them and say, ‘Yeah, I can dream big!’” He says.
What will Sam bring to next to UC Irvine? Only time will tell what will be coming next, but I know it will be great. Be sure to catch the Shaw Show every Tuesday morning from 6AM-8AM on KUCI 88.9 FM!