Each May, the RIT campus comes alive. Various groups, teams and organizations emerge from labs across campus to present projects unique, bizarre and fascinating in their own way. People with a wide array of talents contribute their blood, sweat and tears to work as part of something greater than themselves.
Here’s my view: This cross-disciplinary collaboration is fantastic, but we need more. Not only will it increase our likelihood of finding jobs, expanding our creative horizons will make us happier and more productive.
There is no shortage of opportunities to get involved. Imagine RIT is a fantastic, brilliant creation. The Institute’s Center for Student Innovation has led to some groundbreaking projects, some of which have garnered serious attention, and its quarterly research symposiums stand as testament to some genuinely fantastic research.
College is chaotic, messy and beautiful — though not in the way pop culture would have you believe. This includes the embarrassing mistakes, follies and opportunities for change we experience along the road.
These mistakes and decisions can affect us for the next 40 years. It’s a path I’m all too familiar with. During my second year I switched from Computer Science to New Media Publishing. In the years since, I haven’t looked back.
My journey was a long one. It began my first quarter here, when I realized that CS was not for me. Early on, however, I accepted it; I was too afraid to leave my comfort zone and explore my options. And while I eventually branched out and found my place, I wonder about others who have not had the same opportunities. I’m certain there are others like me, who are still unsure of their role in life.
Both Imagine RIT and the Center for Student Innovation are truly unique. However, their primary draw is to students already interested in getting involved — those who have likely discovered their passion and desire to achieve something with it. But how many of the Institute’s 15,000 students are taking part?
Recent Institute changes have worked to help create an environment for wider collaboration. Orientation groups, once separated by colleges, now feature students from across the Institute. Many newly-constructed spaces around campus facilitate teamwork. However, we’ve got a long road ahead of us. When faced with the unsure, the sort of innovation present at Imagine RIT is all the more necessary in the classroom.
Part of the onus is also on my fellow student leaders: I urge you to encourage students to expand their horizons and become involved in clubs or organizations.
Lastly, you, the reader, also have a responsibility: Live your life fearlessly As graduates, many of you will be entering a tough job market. And while RIT has done what it can to prepare you, the classroom is only half the battle. The more you’ve experienced beforehand, the better you will be able to adapt to the situations ahead.