Throughout high school, getting involved was easy. Participating in clubs and competing for leadership roles was not intimidating. Playing in and attending varsity athletics comprise some of my fondest memories. Beyond extracurriculars, I was able to navigate high school with the same close group of friends. Being in a friendly environment was comforting. No matter what the occasion there were always familiar faces surrounding me.
Starting school at UNH was an entirely different experience. Most students entering freshman year have never been forced to introduce themselves to hundreds of strangers. Throughout high school there was not a single day that passed without the comfort of a team or organization. For this reason the first weeks of college, without a “group”, were daunting. The Freshman Innovation and Research Experience or FIRE was my catalyst.
Knowing that I would stumble upon a club eventually I was hesitant to seek one out. Despite this, and the fact that I only went to U-Day to earn FIRE points, there were numerous groups that I wanted to learn more about. Unsure of my course load, I was afraid to make a commitment to an organization. Speaking with my peer advisor who had taken the same courses gave me the confidence to take on the challenge. FIRE has allowed the peer advisors the opportunity to mentor freshmen in this capacity and I truly believe that I would not have taken advantage of the opportunities I did without this guidance.
Capitalizing on an opportunity, I rushed Alpha Kappa Psi, the coed professional business fraternity at UNH. After interviewing I was fortunately accepted into the fall pledge class. In just eight weeks pledging Alpha Kappa Psi I developed a professional resume, established crucial interview skills, and fostered extraordinary relationships to create some of the closest friendships I’ve ever experienced. It was one of the most demanding periods of my life, despite the difficulty I would not trade a single minute of it.
While AKPsi is a remarkable organization, other groups also peaked my interest. Following up on years of experience volunteering with both children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, Best Buddies UNH was my next step. Best Buddies is an organization that matches an adult with disabilities with a UNH student. Whether it is attending a UNH volleyball game, bowling a couple of frames, or enjoying an ice cream cone at the Dairy Bar, the friendship with my buddy Scott has been unbelievable. Learning an entirely new sort of responsibility and patience, our bond has been transformative.
From an early age I knew I needed to choose a profession that can make a positive impact on someone’s life. For me, I believed education was that field. However, when college application season arrived I had second thoughts. After being bombarded with comments such as the classic “you are never going to make any money in education,” I left that ambition behind for what many perceive to be greener pastures. After arriving on campus, through Alpha Kappa Psi and Best Buddies I realize that working hard at something I am passionate about makes everything else in my life better. For that reason, I am now pursuing a degree in education as well as my studies in business.
UNH is full of opportunities; the beauty of FIRE is that we are being rewarded for taking advantage of these opportunities. It is not another obligation but rather an opportunity in itself. I was able to win the first semester of FIRE because I was not afraid to listen to advice from people who knew more and got involved. FIRE allowed me to see what I wanted to get involved in at UNH and through that what I want to do for the rest of my life. The future of FIRE is an exciting one. We, as the class of 2019, have the chance to help shape what it will look like for business students of the future and that is something we should all make the most of.
About Brian Dezurick:
Brian Dezurick is a diligent, focused individual. He is a first year student at the University of New Hampshire where he is studying Economics and History, and plans to pursue a master’s degree in Education. He has been inspired to be a teacher by his amazing mentors through the years; specifically of the social studies department at Nashua High School North.
He graduated from Nashua North in 2015 as his class’ secretary, and was fortunate enough to be granted the school’s Economics achievement award upon graduation. He was a member of the student body senate and the student Activity Coordination Team. He was a two year captain of the swim team, and a one year captain of the cross country team. He is excited to pursue leadership opportunities on campus.
At UNH, Brian is involved in the professional business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi. He served as his pledge class’ secretary. He is a part of UNH’s chapter of Best Buddies as a peer buddy, and was selected to be an Igniter for the Freshman Innovative Research Experience or “FIRE” program. In his free time he enjoys watching sports, playing tennis and golf, as well as tinkering with his fantasy football lineup.