By Layton Piver, Senior, Mathematics Education
Being a Chico State student is a way of life. We take great pride in our campus, great pride in our community, and great pride in our education. Chico State is a true college town—the opportunities available to students are unparalleled by any other university.
But when I came to Chico in the fall of 2010, I didn’t know that yet. I was just nervous, excited, worried, anxious, and everything in between. I knew only three people coming to Chico for college, and my biggest fears were not being able to meet people, not making friends, not fitting in—all the typical worries and anticipations of an incoming student.
But it took no longer than five minutes for me to meet all of my neighbors in the residence halls, make friends in class, meet others in the dining hall, and make connections with my peers. The big fear of meeting people flew out the window when I realized that everyone else was in the same position as I was.
Challenging myself to meet somebody new every day made me feel welcomed in this new environment. I met a lot of new people and shook a lot of hands, but I still didn’t feel like I had made many deep, personal connections with others. That all changed when I finally got involved on campus and committed myself to others.
By the spring of 2011, I had found my bearings, and this was the semester that Chico became my home. I wanted to get involved on campus, feel connected to the University, and not be just another student. I challenged myself to get involved with as many student organizations as possible and take on as many leadership roles as possible. I knew that when I looked back on my Chico Experience, I would want to know that I got the most out of it.
This attitude has carried me through the past few years and has opened up countless opportunities that I would have never thought were possible before coming here. During my stay at Chico State, I’ve been the activities coordinator and treasurer for the Italian club (C.I.A.O.), student mentor and tutor through Project M.A.T.H., donations chair for Up ’til Dawn, social media and outreach chair for Be Chico: Day of Service and Wildcat Way Weekend (Aug. 30–Sept. 2), co-founder of the Wildcat Way, Greek Life paraprofessional, and recruitment chair and president of Alpha Sigma Phi. All of this involvement has helped shape my Chico Experience and has truly made Chico my home.
The most memorable experience of all was working for the Summer Orientation program as a peer advisor. I was able to help incoming students get acquainted, share my experience and knowledge with them, and bring my collegiate career full circle. Seeing the excitement and anticipation of these new students makes me wish I had another four years left.
I shared with these new students my No.1 piece of advice: GET INVOLVED! Don’t wait for your friend or roommate to get involved, don’t wait for a professor to tell you to join a club—get out there and get involved! With over 200 student organizations , there is guaranteed to be something that will spark your interest. I challenge you, as a leader on this campus, to go out there and find that organization. By getting involved in clubs, sports, Greek life, whatever it may be, you’ll find your home and begin to create your own Chico Experience.