Elon University is all about getting out of your comfort zone and experiencing new adventures. It's about thinking outside the box and allowing yourself to be open-minded. You may think you don't like opera music at all, but maybe, if you give it a chance and go to one of the opera concerts Elon holds, you may fall in love with it, or you may just realize that it really is something you don't enjoy at all.

Not every college student has the opportunity to attend so many different events. There are cultural events, music events, theater events, volunteer events, art events, sports events and so much more. At cultural events, you start to understand other customs. You try new food and you listen to another type of music. At sports events, you learn what teamwork is, what it means to cheer, the anxiety when the other team scores and the joy of hugging a complete stranger each time your team scores. At volunteering events, you have the opportunity to share with people who have less than you, to teach them academics and life lessons and to learn from them.

Each event has its own magic, each event teaches you something. At each event, you discover what you like and dislike and you get to know yourself more.

We've had a former criminal come and give us a truly inspiring talk. We've also had one of the most important violin players in the world talk at Fall Convocation and delight us with his music and experiences. That's how different each event is, and that's how diverse each event is.

All I can say is that if Elon gives me the opportunity to have different experiences, to learn from wise speakers, to enjoy different types of music and to help me think out of the box, I will gladly take it. Part of the incredibly difficult path of getting to know yourself is getting to know what you enjoy and what you abhor. This is what Elon helps you do. Elon helps you find yourself. Elon helps you discover your passions.

There are so many lectures, so many musicals and so many games you should attend. The university offers these events to us, and we should embrace them and learn from them. I can't even think of a reason why we should not go. I know we're all busy and that some of us may not go because our friends don't want to go or because we think we don't have the time, but if your friends don't want to go, it's their loss.

Go by yourself — I assure you that you're going to meet more people who may be interested in the same things you are. Some of them may even become your friends for life, as well. If you organize yourself and your activities, you will always find the time to give yourself a treat or a break. This treat or break should be one of the events Elon offers.

Elon wants you to feel at home. Elon wants to make you feel and realize what it means to bELONg, what it is to be part of such a close and warm community where you can be free to think, do and express what you like. At Elon, we can discover our true selves and our true passions, and we can start the path to discovery by starting to go to the events that are full of surprises.