I'm not talking about calisthenics here, but about a different kind of stretching--the kind that will broaden your understanding of yourself and others, help you discover a talent you didn't know existed, teach you something important about the world, and maybe help you see life's big picture.
Your professors will do their best in class to stretch you, of course, but you can also stretch yourself (in ways you've never imagined) outside the classroom walls. Being part of campus life--joining a club, attending a lecture, seeing a theatre production, being part of a campus/community service project, even going to a social event--can make your college experience richer and more interesting. Participation can also make you feel more connected to Nassau (an important thing at a large school) and expose you to people and ideas you might not have otherwise encountered.
And if that's not enough, involvement in campus life can be FUN, a word you might not associate with college right now, but one that--trust me--is definitely important.
You might be thinking that between your classes and the rest of life (work, family, etc.), you probably won't have a whole lot of free time for anything else this fall. Understood. But remember: no one's asking you to join every club at NCC or attend every campus program. Nor is anybody suggesting you spend every waking minute on campus, ignoring job, family, and classes. Balance is important. Making all of the pieces fit is critical to your success in college.
But somewhere during the fall semester, find at least a little time to see what campus life at NCC is all about. Be selective--choose something that interests you or that at least looks promising. Check out NCC's 100+ clubs at the Activities Fair in September; drop by the Firehouse Art Gallery to see your classmates' work; enter the chess tournament or the Edgar Allan Poe contest sponsored by the Office of Student Activities; listen to Ernest Cline, author of "Ready Player One" (NCC's common reading for 2014-2015), talk about the potential and perils of the digital age; drop in on the Halloween Film Festival in the College Center in October; write a poem or short story for Luna, NCC's student literary magazine; or peer at the heavens through the Physical Sciences Department's high-powered telescope on Astronomy Night.
Nothing here grabs you? Keep searching; there are plenty more campus activities taking place at NCC this fall.
But whatever you do, avoid racing for the parking lot or bus stop immediately after your last class every day. Don't shortchange yourself by walking around campus with your head down, bypassing opportunities to widen your world and make your life more inspired. There's a great education--and a great time--to be had outside the classroom at NCC, provided you're open to it.
September's almost here. Get ready to stretch.