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UPRRP Highlight: I Owe My Degree to Extracurriculars

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UPR chapter.

“What the F do I need extracurriculars for?” was my first thought when I saw my To Do list as a senior high schooler. Extracurriculars were a waste of time and energy that I wanted no part of. But now that I’m a UPRRP alumni, I know that adulting doesn’t make extracurriculars less important. It’s actually the complete opposite. 

Being in your early 20s can feel like opening  a pandora box of relationships, finding your path, and gaining professional experience. Luckily, your remedy to early adulthood mayhem can be condensed and solved with one word: extracurriculars

The benefits of taking on extracurriculars are legit, and though it may sound cliché to bring celebrities up, but even Morgan Freeman– yes, that Morgan Freeman, discovered his love for music and theater through extracurricular activities. In other words, investing time on alternate collegial activities can help shape your identity and forward aid your self-knowing journey. Some find comfort in belonging to a community within their area of interest and consider it as an outlet to socialize. And if you’re more of a productive person, let me remind you that student organizations are formidable experiences to add into your resume and it can positively impact your professional life after college.

Personally, student organizations have helped me with all of the above. Mixing and matching hobbies and switching majors has allowed me to see up close what student organizations are really worth. They even guided me through my early indecision of picking a profession. So without further ado, here’s my journey with UPRRP student organizations.

  1. Pre-Vet Student Association

My first semester in la IUPI was spent brainstorming possible career paths that actually interested me. At first, studying Biology to enter Vet School abroad was something my younger self dreamed of and that’s exactly what I aimed for. I joined the Pre-Vet Student Association (PVSA UPRRP). It felt encouraging to surround myself with a community of people who had similar goals to mine.  Within the organization, I attended multiple Vet School  virtual orientations and participated in a couple in-person activities. I won’t lie, feeding a herd of calves really stuck with me. However, I couldn’t picture myself performing as a veterinarian. It wasn’t specifically my reason to be. It hit me at that moment that maybe it was time to listen to my current self, rather than trying to embody a child’s dream. 

The brainstorming continued until my second year where I began crossing out Natural Science majors and started searching for professions I felt more inclined to. I knew I liked writing, but what exactly? Journalism and Creative Writing were on the top of my list. It wasn’t until I joined Pulso Estudiantil that I understood the difference between one from the other.

2. Pulso Estudiantil 

Pulso Estudiantil is a communications media run by college students with the goal of voicing college-oriented dilemas, political issues, injustices, among other topics. They were looking for writers so of course I had to join. Plus, I needed an insight about what life as a journalist would be like. Definitely not for me. The writing style between creative and informative differs enormously. And although I found myself able to properly inform, it also felt empty to transcribe an interview, add information, and reword one or two details. I wanted to create. I did, however, enjoy interacting with interviewees, but it didn’t equal the satisfaction of creating an idea from scratch and developing it into something unimaginably beautiful. And that’s how I ended up majoring in Creative Writing.

3. Her Campus at UPR

Like they say, “Third time’s the charm”. For me, Her Campus at UPR magazine fitted me perfectly. The chapter encouraged to polish my creative skills through writing and digital art. Unexpectedly, I leveled up to become the Social Media Director of the chapter as I improved my graphic design abilities. But that wasn’t all. Forming part of the organization pulled me out of my comfort zone. I ended up establishing new friendships. Oh the power of friendship. To put it simply, I ordered a single writing experience and ended with a whole meal of new abilities, connections, and unforeseen career ideas. 

From the Biology department to the Humanities faculty, college has been a rollercoaster of decisions. It would be a lie if I denied that student organizations were just for fun. Feeding calves, interviewing people, and writing for an Elite leveled college magazine are definitely wonderful experiences for ever to be treasured. But more than that, my extracurriculars were eye opening tools. UPRRP has way too many student organizations to choose from! Regardless of what your reasons or needs are, discovering the pros and cons of student organizations is better than missing out on an experience that can literally turn your life around. 

Kiara Roman is a writer and Social Media Co-Director of the Her Campus at UPR chapter. Through her articles she discusses a diverse spectrum of topics ranging from research analysis on animal abuse to listicles about cozy room decor. Her writing inclinations vary according to her momentary interests, which makes her one of the most diverse writers in the chapter. She has been part of several organizations including Pulso Estudiantil, Puntos de Fuga and Awkwardly Vain magazine. Her academic aspirations diverge as she studies Human Resources Management and Interdisciplinary Studies while engaging in multidisciplinary extracurriculars. Internship-focused experiences are at the top of her resume alongside communitary participation in her institution, Universidad de Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus. A kaleidoscope of interests drive her curiosity into exploring new hobbies in art, literature, gastronomy, and sciences. Her free time is filled by imagined universes or video game-raging. Explore her next hyperfixation in her upcoming articles.