Welcome to the Rotatea blog! Rotatea is a blog that contains the latest tea regarding all things Rotaract. This issue is about Interact Stayover, Rotaract’s most recent service event. Interact Stayover is a weekend long program where Interactors, members of Interact Clubs (the high school version of Rotaract), come to learn about Cal Rotaract and college life. Here’s the inside scoop about the event from Rotaract’s Interact Committee Co-Chairs, Ningxin Zheng and Kate Im!
If you could describe Interact Stayover in three words, what would they be?
“Fulfilling, Rewarding, Tiring”
“Full of Energy”
When and why did you want to get involved in Interact Stayover?
“I was in Interact back at high school, and I figured there was a college version called Cal Rotaract so I joined. I thought that Justin and Linken’s energy was just outstanding, and they seemed very passionate about Interact Stayover. I was in the committee and I wanted to be a group leader for stayover. It’s been an amazing experience, which is why I signed up to be an officer.”
“I think that Interact Stayover is such a meaningful experience for many of these Interactors, since for most of them it’s their first time staying at a college campus.They might not be used to this environment, but after this event they learn a lot about what it’s like being on campus, what being in college is like, and what they can expect if they want to go to college. It’s a great experience for them, and I wanted to be a part of that and try to have a bigger impact.”
What was the most memorable experience you’ve had either during Stayover or planning it?
“Late Night was really fun for me. We were in Bayview playing board games, talking, and eating. It was such a nice, chill environment, and I think that they all got to bond really well. Outside, Kylie [Rotaractor] started playing the ukulele and started singing. It was so wholesome because none of the kids knew the song lyrics, so they looked on their phone for the lyrics to sing with her. It was super sweet and a really good experience.”
“I think the most memorable experience was Real Talk. In that particular moment, it was when we as the group leaders and the Interactors really opened up about our emotions and our mental health, which I think is very important. In high school, mental health and our emotions aren’t really discussed as much. We ended up crying at the end. It was truly a learning experience not only for Interactors, but for group leaders as well.”
Why in your opinion should other Rotaractors get involved in Interact Stayover?
“Other Rotaractors should get involved in Stayover because it’s an excellent way to give back to the community and give advice. Maybe you were a bit lost as a high schooler. This is a way to give your words of advice to the high school version of you. You get to talk one on one with many of the Interactors and learn about their life stories. At the end, we do “Sunshine Notes” where Interactors and Rotaractors write really positive notes for each other. It’s a really great, positive environment.”
“I think that Interact Committee is different from the other committees in that it’s higher commitment, and you get to know the people in your subcommittee better. I think it’s a great way to know that you have a direct impact on these students, because you know that you have the direct impact on planning the event, suggesting changes, and planning your own workshop. It’s really rewarding to see how the Interactors are having a good time.”
What have you learned or gained from your experiences with Interact Stayover?
“I’ve learned a lot about time management. I’ve also learned to talk with a wider variety of people. I get to coordinate the activities and make lesson plans and slides. It’s also nice that me and Kate get to spend quality time stressing together. I’ve also learned to understand what other people are going through.”
“I’ve learned that high schoolers are really not that different from us. We think that when we come to college that we become this new, different person, but that’s not really true. We are still our high school selves, but we have just transitioned into college. . It’s really great to give advice and support that I wish I had as a high schooler, whether it’s college applications, friendships, or relationships.”