McElroy: You should join an RSO

There are plenty of fears students have when they come into their first year of college. Living on their own for the first time, having to buy their own groceries, even doing their own laundry is one that many people experience. But there’s one fear that almost everyone has but most are too afraid to admit.

Making friends.

Making friends when you’re 18 years old is not the same as making friends when you were 5 or 6 as you could walk up to any person and ask to be their friend. When you get older, it’s a bit harder and even sometimes creepy to walk up to anybody and ask to be their friend. Having some common ground is a great place to start. Joining communities and RSO’s around campus is how to find people with the same interests and be able to open up and make friends in a more reasonable setting.

For me, that was video games, specifically League of Legends.

It was very easy for me to just sit in my dorm or my apartment and just play games all day with no interest in making an effort to find a community of people with common interests. I still had a small circle that I hung out with, but I had a driving passion for this video game that I’ve been playing for almost 8 years.

It wasn’t until one day in my sophomore year that I got a message from a random number about a League of Legends club being formed on campus and to attend one of the meetings.

Going to that first meeting changed my entire college life and so much more.

From that meeting, I became one of the starting players on the club’s competitive roster, traveled to Mystic Lake with teammates to play at one of the largest tournaments in the midwest, all on top of meeting the love of my life.

The club eventually expanded into a Varsity program, now called Maverick Esports. Here, students can join a competitive team and play with their classmates for a number of games.

Maverick Esports has been an amazing experience and deserves more recognition. The feeling of being able to sign a contract to play competitive collegiate video games, getting professional hype photos taken of you, jerseys with your gamertag on the back are things that not a lot of students who share this interest get to experience.

Finding this community was the best thing to happen to me in my postsecondary career, and I owe so much to it. Don’t be afraid to get out and find your community. If that community doesn’t exist yet, don’t be afraid to go out and create it.

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