Editor's Note: Ask Eric is an advice column published every Tuesday. Anonymous questions are taken from this Google form. Questions are also taken both from The Collegian's Instagram, @thecollegianur, and via email, email@example.com.
It is another lovely Tuesday and I am coming right off of a test to type this column. It is that point in the semester when everything comes bearing down on you at once. As someone who has done this going on four years now, I can tell you that the pay off is much better than the stress it puts you under.
While at the moment we are all swamped with work and the professors are busy grading said work, finishing the semester is quite a triumphant feeling. So hang in there UR -- just a couple more weeks and all that stress can then be put towards studying for finals. With that, let’s get to the questions.
Is there a club that you wanted to join but never did? Do you have any suggestions for student organizations?
Personally, I have always thought of joining the rugby club. I played rugby for a very short amount of time in high school and I wanted to continue in college. However, every time I thought about it I remembered I have already torn both of my ACLs and I am not willing to do that again, so I decided against rugby.
As for club suggestions, that really depends on what you find interesting. I love singing so I am in an a Cappella group, and that is a fairly large community of people on campus. One of my friends is president of the debate club and he seems to have fun with that. There is a games club on campus that I have wanted to look into for a while so if you enjoy board games and the like I would check that out.
Additionally, there are many, many sports clubs ranging from rowing to martial arts (though I do not know what style of martial arts the school offers). These, of course, are only a few suggestions as there are a lot of student organizations on campus. In general, I would suggest grabbing a friend, going to a meeting and seeing if you like the club. If you don’t like it then you got to go out with your friend. If you did like it, you have a new club. It’s a win-win.
My RA isn’t doing her job. What do I do?
In my opinion, the first thing to do is define what your RA’s job actually is. There are many RAs that do things for their residents that fall well outside what is expected of them for the job, so if your RA is just not doing anything "extra" for you, it makes no sense to ask them to do it.
If this is not the case and your RA is failing in the basic functions of an RA, then the first step is to talk to them about it. RA’s are people too, sometimes they have off days or may not notice that a couple of things are not being taken care of. The best thing to do is talk to them and see if they fix it. If you are scared to do that alone, you can get a group together to politely voice your complaints.
If this does not work, you can always contact your head resident and ask them to intercede on your behalf. All the head residents I have known are very good at addressing the problems that come up with their RAs. If this still does not fix the problem, I would suggest that you contact your area coordinator. All of the area coordinators are extremely nice people and they will take your complaints seriously and endeavor to fix the problem.
However, in all likelihood, it will not get to this point because most people will change their actions if you tell them it is affecting you in a negative way. No one wants to be the reason that your living arrangements are bad, but the first step is for you to take.
How did you pick your majors?
Biochemistry/molecular biology was a fairly easy choice for me to make. I knew that I wanted to study the sciences and that I wanted to go to medical school before I even graduated high school. The specific scientific major came about when I realized just how interesting I found DNA and its associated proteins. If you think about it, the process is rather amazing. There is a template inside every cell in the body that not only dictates all the information for the cell’s function but also holds instructions in its template for machinery that replicates itself. I could talk for hours about DNA and proteins, and biochemistry gives me the excuse to talk and learn about these things without the glazed-over look my family gives me when I give too much detail about cellular mechanisms.
History, on the other hand, I decided on after coming into college. I took a history course in my first year titled “The Great War in the Middle East,” and I loved it. I had always been interested in history -- there is a paper floating around somewhere where I compared the military strategies of several ancient tacticians from across the world, but I never considered history as anything other than an interest. After talking to the professor of my first-year history course, I decided to turn my interest into a minor. Not long after that, I realized that I was well on my way to completing the history minor by the end of my second year, so I decided that I liked history enough to make it a major.
In summary, I decided on my majors based on the things that I found the most enjoyment out of learning. I suggest everyone pick their majors this way.
Well, that is all for me this week, I am off to force my editors to read this amalgamation of words and turn it into a readable block of text. Remember, if you have any serious problems, please contact CAPS.
One last thing to end on: Life will pass you if you let it. Do what you enjoy, try new things, be your own advocate and do not let anyone tell you that what you enjoy is not worth the time. If it does not hurt anyone and you like it, do it. Life is too short to worry about what others think of you.
Contact columnist Eric Bossert at firstname.lastname@example.org.