If you’re like the many students across the country that started classes this week, by now you’ve probably gotten some textbooks, signed up for classes and met your new roommate(s). So, now what? How about getting involved in your college campus? If you haven’t started planning that crucial step, then you may want to put this at the top of your back to school to-do list. Here are the top 10 reasons to get involved:
- You’ll show initiative! Getting involved with organizations on campus shows that you have initiative. Ask around or attend informational events to learn what’s available. DegreeDirectory and CampusSplash both list common ways to help students find their niche. If you don’t find one that strikes your unique fancy for origami or your expertise for corn hole, then start your own group!
- Get a better understanding of your major. If you’re a freshman on campus, there’s plenty of time to explore. Or, perhaps you’re a sophomore or upperclassman who just can’t decide. If you’re interested in political science, drop by a student government meeting. Interested in social work? Give an hour to a fundraiser for a local shelter. School groups specific to majors can help you learn how your passions could lead to a career!
- Enhance your GPA! Adding more time to an already packed schedule may help your GPA. CampusSplash article “4 Ways to Get Involved on Campus” explains that “being involved in organizations and activities can actually improve your school work.” This doesn’t mean you should take on more than you can handle — just use this knowledge to schedule some much needed time away from classrooms and study sessions.
- A chance to network. It’s never too early to start thinking about your future. Clubs are great opportunities to interact with professors who can be invaluable when it comes time to establish a list of references. Campus clubs can also help you network with others in your field. You never know, that senior leader may just end up interviewing you for a job one day.
- Spice up your resume. Today, so many individuals earn degrees that you need to set yourself apart from other applicants. A strong resume isn’t necessarily one with the highest GPA — it’s one that shows a well-rounded individual. Student government, the school newspaper and the campus radio or television station are all great options, especially if you are leaning toward a career that will require the epitome of communication skills.
- Meet people. If you’re a tad shy or not great at meeting new people, getting involved may help bring you out of your shell. The best part? It’s easy to start a conversation with someone you know you already have something in common with!
- Relieve stress. Let’s face it. College can be stressful. Doing something you love can help relieve this stress. Whether you’re into feng shui or knitting, give yourself a break from the books. You may feel more refreshed and ready to tackle your next chem exam!
- Get off the couch. You don’t have to spend your weekend in your dorm room. Instead, get out and get active. Even if you’re not exactly pro-sports material, there are numerous sporting events you can get involved in. Head on over to your intramural center to find a list of activities available.
- Show school spirit. You can show school spirit in numerous ways, not just during those big games. One way to do this is to volunteer your time in the community. Find an organization heading over to the local food pantry, throw on your favorite college gear and tag along.
- Have fun! If you’re a freshman, hit the “newbie” events. If Greek life seems appealing, head on over to check out some houses during rush.
If you want to get involved, but still aren’t sure how to do so, check with the people who have done it before! Try your RA, TA or classmates. These are some of the best years of your life, so get out there and broaden your horizon!