Our student reporter tracks a freshman’s first Festifall.
So this is your big moment to learn all about thousands of campus organizations with thousands of other students. Are you feeling a bit overwhelmed?
Well, I went to a high school with 320 students. So, you know, this is just a little bit bigger.
Just a bit.
I ran into a horde of people walking over here, including this big group of frat boys. It was me and, like, 800 guys. I had to climb over a wall of people just to make it here.
Glad you made it in one piece. What are you looking to get involved with here?
Well, I did a lot of philanthropy at my high school, so that’s something I really enjoy. You know, like organizing events. Maybe a smaller club if I see something I like. I already signed up for club volleyball for tryouts.
Didn’t you say you have a sister who is a student here, too? What does she think you should sign up for?
Yeah, Violet. She’s a junior. I don’t think she cares, honestly. She’s busy right now looking for love, if you know any interested parties.
Ah, I’ll keep that in mind.
She starts picking up pamphlets for everything from the Michigan Yoga Club to Groove (a trash can percussion group), but stops abruptly in front of one particular table.
Sounds like that interests you?
No, I will absolutely not do engineering.
Oh, the opposite. Does it scare you?
I just don’t do it.
So what are your favorites so far?
Well, I really like D-SIP (Development Summer Internship Program), and I also liked the UMMA (U-M Museum of Art) After Hours one. I also like Semester in Detroit.
How many do you think you’ll actually sign up for?
In high school, I was involved in way too many clubs. So I told myself I wouldn’t do that in college. I’m not going to have every single hour of every single day booked. But now, both my hands are filled with pamphlets and fliers and activities. I think I signed up for way too many lists. I’m going to have some choices to make. I can’t exactly join 20 clubs.
I think one of the first lessons you need to learn here is how to say “no” to things.
I’ve been trying to work on that for the last year, and I’m still terrible. It happens like, “Oh, I need someone to bake something for my bake sale!” And I’ll go, “Hey, I have volleyball practice all night, but I’ll do it. And who else needs something done? I’ll do it all!”
So, you’re about to leave your first Festifall. Thoughts?
At my high school, there wasn’t really a lot of school spirit. I love that about Michigan. All these people coming together that are passionate about something and love it so much. I really feed off that. I’m just hoping I don’t over-commit myself. When I commit to too many things and something slips through cracks, I hate it.
Let me know how that goes, yeah?
Oh yeah, for sure.
David Newman is a junior acting major in the School of Music, Theatre & Dance. He is a University Relations and Development Intern with the Alumni Association.