Exploring Lane can change your life

Exploring Lane can change your life

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August Frank
Photo Editor


Education goes beyond the letter grade you receive at the end of the term. Maximizing the value of your tuition goes beyond passing all of your classes.

To truly get the most out of your money, the most out of your time at Lane and the best education possible, taking advantage of the different clubs, activities and organizations Lane offers is a must.

Lane provides opportunities to explore varied interests and potential career paths, but many students miss opportunities because they are not aware of them. Various sports, student action organizations such as the Oregon Student Public Interest Research Group or Associated Students of Lane Community College, internships, co-ops and diverse clubs are just some of what’s available. In total, Lane has 20 groups or clubs, five sports teams, and many different kinds of internships.

I came to Lane approximately three years ago, and at the time I saw the college as just a passing through point. I saw it as a place to get my pre-requisite classes out of the way before transferring to the University of Oregon, and for the first year at least that’s how I treated it. I would commute to campus, go to class, go home and that was it.

When I looked, though, I realized Lane is much more than just a place I was passing through or somewhere to complete pre-requisite classes at a lower cost. Unknown to me at the time, there are numerous opportunities to pursue varied interests and possible career paths. But to find them, I had to be open and willing to look for them.

Students entering college are often undecided about their course of study, and many change their major, some more than once. About 80 percent of college students in the United States change their major at least once, according to the National Center for Education.

By participating in Lane’s clubs and organizations you might find just the career or profession you’ve been looking for. This could save you from taking unnecessary classes or changing your major too many times, which can be quite costly.

I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do for a living when I started at Lane. I told people I was going to go into environmental science, but there was always that question at the back of my mind asking if that was what I really wanted. Eventually, I discovered what I wanted by joining the Torch.

I have always liked photography, but I did not know that my fondness for photography could extend to photojournalism. Nor did I know that this could extend further to a major and career in journalism.

This reminds me of a quote by President Obama on high school and education. “Maybe you could be a good writer – maybe even good enough to write a book or articles in a newspaper – but you might not know it until you write a paper for your English class. Maybe you could be a mayor or a Senator or a Supreme Court Justice, but you might not know that until you join student government or the debate team.”

In the same way, you might have a passion for writing, but might not know it extends to news writing unless you join the Torch. You might have a great interest in politics but not know that interest can extend to a career in government unless you join ASLCC.

In my time at Lane I’ve taken classes ranging from environmental science to ceramics to photojournalism. One term, I did an internship with OSPIRG. Another term I made use of the Cooperative Education program to do a Co-op at the Mount Pisgah Arboretum.

Looking back, I can see that exploring various classes and opportunities helped me try out different things and eventually arrive at the Torch where I discovered what I really want to do for a living. Just like President Obama said in his speech, I did not realize the affinity I had for journalism, both the visual side and the literary side, until I joined the Torch.

Did you play a lot of sports in high school? Join one of Lane’s teams and see where that might take you. Have you decided on a field of study? Find out if it’s really what you want to do with a Co-op or an internship. Or if a group on campus replicates the field, join it and see what it’s like.

Maybe you’re just looking for some people to hang out with or would like some fun things to do in your spare time. Join a club on campus like the Disc Golf Club or Outdoor Adventure Club.

Whether you’ve decided on your career path or not, taking the time to explore Lane just could end up being the best decision you make in college.