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3 Things I Wish I Knew Before Joining IUDM...

With the 2019 dance marathon just a couple days away, reflecting on the fun times and amazing people I’ve met this year has become one of my favorite things to do. It also allowed me to consider just how different my experiences have been in the last two years, and as an IU sophomore with one year of being on a committee under my belt, I think I have a helpful perspective to share about what IUDM can do for prospective joiners or those considering returning for a second dance marathon. Here’s a list of three things I wish I knew before joining IUDM:

1. You don’t have to be in love with IUDM right away. Coming in as a freshman with RHARC, IUDM can be an overwhelming experience. Without a committee and common interests to bond you, sometimes it seems like no amount of round robins can get you familiarized with the people you’ve been grouped with according to your residence hall. Not to mention you are given much less time to fundraise — everything about your first IUDM can seem daunting, and it’s okay to be nervous and not to be camp-counselor-level excited about the organization. It’s okay to doubt yourself. However, that brings me to my next point:

2. Committees change the game. Too many people choose to leave the organization after just one year on RHARC — and that was almost me. I wasn’t head over heels for IUDM yet, but something in me said to give it at least one more shot and join a committee, thinking it may be different. Boy, was I right. If I had known what my committee was going to do for me as a dancer, there would never have been any doubt in my mind about my place in IUDM. Committees give purpose to your journey, uniting your group with a common goal and common interests. Not to mention you get a lot more time to raise money alongside people who are always willing to lend a helping hand or words of encouragement. Committee directors and subcommittee chairs want to make your time there as easy as possible, and from the moment I met my committee for the first time, I felt welcome in ways I hadn’t before. While it took time to get to know everyone, I can honestly say I love each and every one of them. Going into my first marathon, I was scared of facing the weekend with people I didn’t know very well. As I enter my second, I can’t wait to hang out with my best friends for 36 hours.

3. The HYPE IS REAL! IUDM is a widely known campus organization, and many know the amazing things we do on the daily and the love we have for our program — some may even call it an obsession. I thought it was kind of crazy too. However, you truly will not understand what it’s like to be a dancer until you do it. Go to the hype rooms. Spend time with your committees. Make it to the marathon. Only then can you feel the very real energy that IUDM can bring. It isn’t like a feeling you’ve ever felt before, but I promise if you give it all you’ve got, you will be heavily rewarded.

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