Editor’s Note: Throughout the summer we’ll be featuring a post by one or more of our Orientation & Welcome Leaders (OWLs). The OWLs are current undergraduates at Stevenson who serve as orientation assistants for incoming students and tour guides for prospective students throughout the summer. As their name suggests, the OWLs are very wise and will be offering valuable and timely advice to the Class of 2021. We hope you enjoy this summer series on the Admissions Blog.

This week's contributors are Orientation & Welcome Leaders, Anthony Plagg '20 and Sarah Healy '18. Anthony is a public history major from New Egypt, NJ and Sarah is a middle school education major from Hebron, CT.

Sarah OWL

Members of the 2016 SU Relay for Life Committee. Sarah is second from the left.  

Entering into your college years may seem intimidating and revolutionary. It is a time when you are transitioning from the safety and security of your home into a foreign and alien environment. Your first taste of reality and independence is exciting and frightening. The opportunities that lay before you are limitless, all you have to do is seize them. While it may seem easier to seclude yourself, finding your place at Stevenson is way more fulfilling and deepening. Community is one of our core values, therefore you are strongly encouraged to go out and find your place. However, finding your niche is different for every person. For some it may be playing a sport, for others it might be joining multiple clubs, or working an on-campus job.

The best way to get involved is to dive in head first! We encourage you to do what interests you and seize the opportunities that come your way. Take advantage of the student involvement fair on August 30 from 5-7pm in front of the Rockland Center on the Owings Mills campus to ask questions about clubs and organizations that interest you. Keep reading to learn more about our experiences getting involved at Stevenson.

Anthony OWL

Anthony showcasing his outfit for the Baltimore Pride Parade, which he attended with other members of SU's Q-group.

            Anthony’s Experience: Getting involved for me started at the student involvement fair when I stumbled upon the Q-group, Stevenson’s LGBTQ+ group. Coming from a conservative town, growing up gay wasn’t exactly embraced, which is why I was so excited for my first Q-group meeting. Little did I know that the Q-group would empower me and make me proud of my fabulous-queer-identity. I dove in head first, volunteering at events, giving a talk at a conference, participating in meetings and even winning a Drag show. Getting involved with Q-group gave me a sense of purpose at the university and strengthened my identity as a queer person.

            Sarah’s Experience: When I came to college I put on a brave face for my family and friends, but in reality I was terrified. The thought of coming to a new place where I knew no one scared me enough that for the first two weeks of my freshman year I hid out in my room being miserable. But during the third week of school, I was determined to make a change. I attended an event one of the clubs on campus was hosting and put my name on their email list. I went to one of their meetings and met someone who told me about Relay for Life. I had heard of Relay before, but didn’t know much about it. I began regularly attending meetings and now, three years later, I’m the Co-Lead of our event. Through Relay for Life, I found a group of people who are passionate about finding a cure for cancer and helping current cancer patients undergoing treatment, as well as my family away from home.

The main message I want you to take away is that everyone’s experience in college is different, it’s up to you to make it great. Stevenson will provide you with the tools to succeed and thrive, if you only take advantage of it. Enjoy your time at Stevenson, it goes by far too fast. We can’t wait to see you in the fall, getting involved in all Stevenson has to offer.