PHOTO: Austin Casebolt, Morehead State University Student Body President.
Being an overachiever is not a bad thing. College is an awesome place to find an outlet where you can really shine. Gone are the days where the front row seats in the classroom are reserved for the brainiest and the accolades are given to the top 5 students of the class. Student organizations seem almost countless and degree programs are numerous. Opportunity is around every corner. And you know what? It’s actually really cool to make a mark.
Just ask Austin, former Student Body President at Morehead State University. This cool cat just happens to be my little brother! And by little I mean the 6-foot, 6-inch baller that you’re sure to see on TV some day. Student Government Association (SGA) empowers students to weigh in on administrative decisions, and its structure is modeled after the legislative and executive powers of the U.S.
In a landslide victory last year, Austin became the President, and he has been an advocate (and big ole overachiever) ever since. So, just for you, I asked him how he pulled it off and what it all means in the grand scheme of things.
Q: What got you interested in Student Government? And running for President?
A: “Fun fact: I was homecoming king in the same year! I was so honored that my peers put me forward for this awesome award, but as the year progressed, people were reaching out to me to do more. I was able to connect people to organizations, promote the school, weigh in on big issues, and meet people who were doing great things. This is a lot of what Student Government does; they’re the voice of the students. Then I had a big idea – SGA president! I loved advocating for students by making MSU better. Maybe this is a nontraditional route, but homecoming inspired me to jump in!”
Q: How has putting yourself out there been rewarding?
A: “First and foremost I’m so proud that through my tenure, we made MSU a safer place. We implemented a program called “LiveSafe” that gives free access to safety technology to every single individual on Morehead’s campus, even to the local community. If you turn on the news, you know the importance of campus safety in America, and without a doubt, keeping MSU one of the country’s safest institutions has been the most rewarding part of my SGA experience. I have also had some of the most incredible working and learning experiences and have made connections and friendships that mean a lot to me.”
Q: How would you encourage other students to pursue big dreams during their time in college?
A: “Don’t get me wrong, your degree and your classes are the most important. Always be a student first (“student” even comes first in in “Student Body President”). Don’t forget, though, your tuition is also paying for what we call the “college experience.” Four years of burying your face in your books isn’t what it’s all about. I feel so much more prepared and more confident going out into the real world with this experience behind me. I have skills, knowledge, and relationships that will make me a better employee and hopefully lead to future leadership positions. It’s rewarding and it’s open to everyone. Even if it’s not through Student Government, don’t short yourself these opportunities.”
Well there you have it! Getting involved is a really important part of the college experience. Don’t be intimidated by the bigness of the school or the many groups and student organizations that you can join. There are lots of students – if you’re passionate about something, chances are, others are too. Just because you're an undergrad student doesn't mean you can't be an overachiever! Start slow, pick what interests you, and make a mark!
By Jessica Casebolt
Being an overachiever is not a bad thing. College is an awesome place to find an outlet where you can really shine.