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Making an Impact at K

Guess who’s back, back again. After a summer of work and new adventures, I’m happy to return back to the Zoo (although I do live only 30 minutes away from it) and surround myself with the people and opportunities that make me want to dive deeper into my surroundings. It has been interesting to be back on campus and not be the “baby” of the school anymore. Last year was dedicated to figuring out what I was passionate about and what I wanted to further pursue, both academically and socially. It was during last year that I was able to solidify a pretty great, empowering, and diverse friend group while getting involved in organizations on campus that made me excited about their opportunities. One organization that I absolutely fell in love with, and will be in charge of along with a few other members, is a workout group called K Team. K Team really did find a special place in my heart (I know it sounds cheesy but it’s true) and made me want to be a part of the organization’s future and impact on campus.

The student organization K Team is a newly founded self-care and workout group on campus whose goal is to create space for marginalized bodies in the gym environment while taking part in self-care practices. This organization has to be one of my favorites because we emphasize the importance of becoming comfortable in your body and connecting with your body. This year I will be holding the position of Co-Facilitator along with four other women. As excited as I am to change exercise and self-care culture at K with some wonderful women, it is intimidating to take on such a big leadership role as a Sophomore. I often feel nervous about holding this position because I feel as if I’m not qualified enough to do so. However, I have to remind myself that this entire experience is a learning one and that the organization itself is still in the stages of improvement and growth.

I think that’s one thing I really enjoy about Kalamazoo College– that you’re able to take on leadership roles early on in your college career. Typically at bigger universities, you more than likely wouldn’t take on a leadership position in an organization until your Junior or Senior year. Fortunately, K’s small size and opportunity for Juniors to Study Abroad or Study Away, open up a platform for underclassmen to step into that position. I am really thankful and excited about this new leadership role, along with a few other ones that I will hold this year, and will keep you all posted on how it goes, so stay tuned!

-Karina Pantoja ’20