How many times have you been catching up with someone or talking with a stranger at a party and they ask you where you go to school? If you’re like me, then it’s probably pretty frequent, and I’m betting you’ve got what seems to be an automated response. Now, how many times have you replied, “Oh, I just go to Weber”? A few, right? Thought so. I’m guilty of this too. What dawned on me this semester is that going to Weber is no representation of shortcomings. It’s nothing to be downplaying.

I recognize the fact that we may not be located in urban SLC or college town Logan. Yeah, those cities are great. But how many ski resorts are just minutes away from Utah State? And how many boulder fields are literally a stone’s throw away from the University of Utah? With the Outdoor Equipment Rental Center, you can easily utilize your student benefits to be paddleboarding and cliff-jumping for just a few bucks in August and renting snowboarding gear for next to nothing compared to the cost of a full setup in November. You know, I think we’ve got it pretty good here at WSU. If the cheap and easy outdoor equipment rentals, the world-renowned ski resorts and the easy access to trailheads and climbs don’t have you convinced that WSU is an incredible school, let’s talk about opportunity.

After high school, I went to school for a year, took a break for a year and then returned to WSU to finish my education. One thing that’s different for me with my college experience this time around is I decided to get involved. Now, when I say get involved, I don’t mean buying raffle tickets in the union building and raising my hand more in class. I mean I fully immersed myself in the opportunities that were provided to me here at Weber State. I’m that guy who decided to get involved and got way too involved.

Most Wildcats are commuters and generally just come to class, then leave immediately after. This meant there was a plethora of opportunities available. Within two months I was a member of three clubs, publishing two articles a week as the features editor for The Signpost, and building an ever-expanding network on campus. The best part about my active role at Weber State this semester is the connections I’ve been making. I’ve met people who truly want me to achieve my greatest success and offer their best help in leading me to it.

I briefly mentioned clubs before, but let me explain what clubs have done for me. Clubs have allowed me to be around people who really enjoy the same things as me. I love plants and animals, so I joined the Botany Club and the Zoology Club. I want to learn how to kayak, so I joined the Outdoor Kayaking Club. With the Outdoor Kayaking Club you pay only $10 and they provide the equipment you need to learn, along with lessons on how to stay safe and enjoy yourself on the water. The Botany Club presented me with the most exciting opportunity I’ve faced yet. As a member of the Botany Club, I receive emails with leads for jobs and internships that have to do with botany and biology. Just recently I received an email about an internship opportunity in Panama. The internship is for 11 weeks and focuses on biology. I don’t know about you, but 11 weeks in the jungle collecting and cataloging plants and animals sounds like heaven to me. I applied, and after an interview with the program director, I was accepted. I would have never known about this opportunity had I not been involved with the Botany Club. I’ll be spending my summer abroad, and it’s all thanks to Weber State.

Next time someone says something to you like, “Yeah, I just go to Weber State; I’m only trying to save money,” first, understand that they don’t get it. Try to help them realize the bounty of opportunity that is WSU. Second, if they prove to be unwavering in their view of WSU, raise one Wildcat hand and quietly say, “Just talk to the paw.” Then walk away. Seriously.

Stay savage, Wildcats.

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