Between classes, work, family and other commitments, there can be a lot in life for students to balance. The reality of the situation is that there is more to the college experience than just classroom lectures and discussions: Students who get involved outside of academia become more connected to their institution, learn to build a strong community and are more likely to discover their true passions and strengths.
One student who has managed to find her own sense of balance is senior Jennifer Ayala, a very involved member of Lynn’s student body. In addition to studying full time and being part of the women’s golf team, Ayala is a member of the student government, Knights of the Roundtable, as a representative and voice for the athletic department.
“Being part of KOR has been a unique, empowering experience as a student,” said Ayala. “Representing all athletes at Lynn is a big responsibility for me, yet it gives me the opportunity to protect student-athletes’ rights.”
Ayala’s leadership within athletics is accentuated by her role as chief of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), a position in which she oversees all of the current student athletes and coordinates volunteer work among other duties.
Aside from her leadership roles, Ayala is a talented and accomplished athlete herself; in May, she will be making history as the first woman to represent Colombia in the United States Golf Association’s “Women’s Amateur Four-Ball” tournament.
“I think the most exciting part of the [qualifying] round was our last hole,” explained Ayala. “Because we birdied, we had won.”
Sam Barber, sophomore and member of the women’s golf team, expressed her appreciation for her teammate.
“Jenny is a natural leader: [When] I was a freshman, she helped me get adjusted—[not] only as a golf teammate, but throughout my whole freshman year,” commented Barber. “She is a great friend and role model who has a real passion for giving back and I admire that.”
Ayala continues to strive to provide a voice for the students she is proud to represent and says getting involved is for everyone.
“It is just a matter of finding your niche,” advised Ayala. “Just know that involvement on campus isn’t solely restricted to permanent positions or groups. Be on the lookout for temporary activities too, like service projects.”
Whether students choose to join a club just as a member or choose to rise up to the responsibility of a leadership position, they should take heed of Ayala’s wisdom and get involved however they can.
Once a student is involved, they can really begin to enjoy their college experience — and they can look at Ayala if they need a model for it.