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As we rush headlong into the frenzy of a new academic year, it may be useful — especially for incoming freshmen — to dwell on the opportunity and pride in being a Sun Devil. Whether you arrived at ASU by choice, chance or conspiracy, it is now time to make your presence within this University count.

Here then, in no particular order, are three reasons to love being a Sun Devil and why you should make the most of your time earning that maroon-and-gold tassel.

Size: It is said — not without good reason — that it is the people you meet, rather than the classes you attend, that lead to breaks and opportunities later in life. What better time to try this out than now?

According to an October 2009 report in The Arizona Republic, ASU’s Tempe campus had the largest enrollment in the nation for fall 2009. Combined with the fact that we have one of the largest class sizes of incoming freshmen, this makes for more Sun Devils to meet and interact with every semester.

Another great way to get involved on campus is to enroll in the various clubs supported under the aegis of the Student Organization Resource Center. You’d be surprised by the wide variety of interests and groups represented.

Sports: ASU (and Arizona in general) is a great place for sport and outdoor activity. With more days of sunshine than anyone cares to count (or be thankful for), the University and its surroundings are the perfect setting to get in shape and have fun while doing it. ASU also boasts of some fine athletic programs, with teams that are at the very top of the NCAA rankings year after year.  The football team will always draw the crowds, as it should — but choose from the other great athletic Devils to cheer for, and you will not be disappointed.

Setting: One of the most exciting things about going to ASU is the unique setting. The Tempe campus enjoys a college-town atmosphere with all the advantages of being part of a city as large as Phoenix.

The University sits right up against Mill Avenue, the recreation capital of the Valley, and there is a constant stream of events to attend and things to do.

Public transport around the University is top-notch, with buses, shuttles and trains taking on the arduous task of transporting thousands of students (and associated staff and faculty) to campus every day. There are quirks, of course — if you aren’t familiar with the phrase “Bus Full” or cursing the location of the light rail ticket machines by the end of your first month on campus, you’re doing it wrong.

Rankings and comparisons only go so far when deciding the worth of your time in college; once you enter the campus that will be home for your next few years as a Sun Devil, it is the choices you make and the extent to which you get involved that dictate the final outcome of your sojourn. Your college life shapes you forever afterward — it is up to you now to shape that experience.

Kartik is hoping to land a job with the ASU President’s PR team soon. Send in your letters of recommendation to

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