Paul Barudin is a graduate from Susquehanna University back in May of 2014 with a BA in Creative Writing. He’s currently interning with League of Women Voters of New Jersey as well as with The Green Economy, and another internship might be on the menu for me soon. A nerd, through and through, he’s played and been playing DnD, MTG, EVE: Online, and even a little WoW as well.
So let’s say you’re all settled in, either for the first time, or returning to campus. You wish your parents a fond (and perhaps forceful) farewell and try to get yourself comfortable for the day, week, and year ahead. Between your first week of classes you’ve probably seen or read about a dozen fliers for different clubs and organizations, not the least of which might be for Greek life.
Now, Greek life varies campus to campus. From my experience, it had a rather strong presence on my campus. At Susquehanna only a minority of students actually joined fraternities and sororities. But for the rest of us, there were Greek events going throughout the year, and most of the anticipated events were co-sponsored by one or two Greek houses.
Sometimes it feels like Greek life is everywhere, even if you’re not involved with it. Now I’m not saying that Greek life is bad. Some of my best friends were (and still are) in fraternity and sorority.
But, sometimes you just want to get away from all that. And this is where I try to convince you to be a nerd.
Ok, that might sound a little too straightforward. Let me elaborate.
I didn’t join any clubs for my first semester at college. I was too worried about grades, and making friends, and generally not screwing up like most students fear they will. And I know I’m retreading very well worn ground here when I say, join a club, or two, or three. And don’t just join them because you’re being asked to, but because you want to.
Yes I know, that’s very familiar territory in terms of advice. But here’s the thing. I didn’t discover there was a rather vibrant gaming community on my campus until around sophomore year. By then, while I was late to the scene I knew I had lost out on opportunities to not only make very good friends, but also to play some really good games with those people. This isn’t to say that I wasn’t able to make friends with these people, or that I wasn’t able to play games with them, but I know I had lost out on being more than just a friendly acquaintance to them.
I’m not going to say that it was all sunshine, rainbows, and leaping unicorns when it comes to gaming groups. Sometimes you’ll run into hate, obnoxiousness, hypocrisy, and idiots in gaming just like you would in any other social situation. What I feel is important to note here is that while individuals like that may exist in one cell of gaming, they aren’t your only option (where as if you get accepted into a Greek house, they kind of are…)
For example, I tried to join a DnD (Dungeons and Dragons) play group during my freshman year. I was turned away, and when I asked why, I was given a rather… immature and short-sighted response. However, I didn’t let that stop me. I went to other gaming groups, and joined them. I held a public event one evening during my Senior year to let people play DnD who had never had the opportunity before.
And that’s the beauty of a schools ‘Geek’ potential. You literally can create something where there wasn’t anything before. Like to play Super Smash Bros? Make your own league/club. Like card games? Do a little bit of prep work and start hosting your own weekly meetings, maybe even make an official club of it.
There are nerds everywhere. We all love to game. Set it up, advertise it well, and they will come.