Why You Should Get Involved on Campus

It’s often said that what learned outside the classroom in college is just as, if not more important than what’s learned inside the classroom. What’s so unique about college is that you are exposed to all new types of people, experiences, and cultures, which ultimately help you gain a better understanding of yourself and your place within the world.

While in college, for reasons you might not even understand, you might identify with someone who, on the surface, seems to be so completely opposite of you. Maybe you’re exposed to something that you’ve never tried before, but you find yourself truly enjoying it. So, you question why it was in the first place you were so hesitant to interact with these unfamiliar people and experiences.

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During your time in college, you come to understand the influences in your life that pressure you to think certain ways. You may realize that you believed things before that simply aren’t true, or that you were closed off to new experiences.

College is no time for that. It is not the time to find a comfort zone and remain safely within its boundaries; it is the time to broaden your horizons and discover yourself. What better way to do that than to connect with your peers through on-campus organizations?

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Most universities offer hundreds of unique clubs and organizations to their students, including social sororities and fraternities, multicultural sororities and fraternities, academic or honors-based sororities and fraternities, intramural, club, and NCAA sporting teams, student government, students newspapers, and a variety of clubs based on academic focuses, professional achievement, campus events, philanthropy, personal skills and background, extracurricular interests, political affiliations, relegion, and more. Most universities offer on-campus jobs, leadership positions, and roles as orientation guides. Each undergraduate student is bound to identify with at least one of his or her university’s on-campus organizations. If you don’t, however, what’s to stop you from starting one based off your personal interests?

The benefits of being involved in an on-campus organization are infinite. Since you’ll be submerged in the heart of your university, you will constantly be in the know about upcoming events, news, and so on. You’ll have fun while getting to know other students just like you, students completely different from you, potential students to whom you can showcase your amazing university, alumni, esteemed faculty and members of the administration, and members of the local community. You’ll likely establish incredible friendships and build connections that could help you down the road (anything from getting out of a parking ticket to a new job).

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We were all told time and time again in high school that universities look for students with more than just good grades — they want well-rounded students who participate in extra curricular activities. The same goes for companies looking to hire recent college graduates — they want to hire people who are more than just brains, and who have applicable skills. After all, those people will be your future colleagues one day, and will have to spend eight hours a day, five days a week with you. Do you really think they want to hire someone who has no life outside of school or work?

Knowing that you are contributing to the improvement of your university will give you a newfound sense of pride for your alma mater. You’ll learn what it means to be a part of a team, and if you get the chance to take a leadership role within your organization, you’ll gain invaluable life skills that can only be learned through practice. Above all, you’ll make the most out of your far-too-short time in college, and you’ll make irreplaceable memories!

What’s your favorite way to stay involved with your university? Send me your pictures on Twitter and I might retweet you!

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The Unofficial Bucket List of the University of Nevada

1. Participate in Welcome Week events — paint the “N” on the hill with fellow members of the Pack, wolf down some pancakes at midnight, and take pride in your university!

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2. Wake up at 4 a.m. for Dawn Patrol at The Great Reno Balloon Race. The killer Instagram you’ll get as proof will make it worthwhile.

3. Eat at Archie’s on game day and get to know some of your fellow Wolf Pack fans.

4. Stroll around downtown with some friends during the Wine Walk. Don’t forget your glitter tattoo at Five Star!

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5. Pig out on some ribs at the Sparks Nugget’s Annual Rib Cook-Off.

6. Become a part of our university’s legacy by partaking in homecoming traditions such as the undie run, carnival, or the March from the Arch.

7. Fill up on mushroom ravioli and peach bellinis at the Annual Italian Festival downtown. If that’s not a recipe for a good time, I don’t know what is.

8. Regardless of whether or not you join a house, participate in at least one Greek life event, whether it be SAE’s Paddy Murphy or Delta Gamma’s Anchor Splash.

9. Show off your Wolf Pack pride by participating in Beat UNLV week — moon our neighbors to the south or make the road trip down to Sin City with your best friends.

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10. Try not to scream at Lincoln Hall’s annual haunted house. Let’s be honest, you probably won’t, but it’s a fun thing to do with your friends around Halloween time.

11. Get in touch with your #basic side while drinking hot cider and picking out pumpkins at Apple Hill in Camino, California. Don’t forget your riding boots and Pumpkin Spice Latte, obv.

12. Get dressed up to get messed up at the Santa Crawl. If you want to be truly original, have your friends dress as Santa and his eight tiny reindeer. Pause, not.

13. Visit Lake Tahoe when it’s snowy — drink hot cocoa at The Village at North Star or ski down the powder at Squaw Valley.

14. Visit Lake Tahoe when it’s sunny — sip on a Wet Woody or party at Zephyr Cove on the 4th of July.

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15. Catch up on current events with the Nevada Sagebrush or a Coffin and Keys newsletter. If you’re lucky, you might read your own name one day in the Sagebrush. If you’re unlucky, you might read your own name one day in Coffin and Keys.

16. Stay through the end of a sporting event and sing our alma mater and fight song. N-E-V-A-D-A you say, “Nevada!”

17. Fill yourself with a bizarre mix of pride and shame as you attempt to finish an Awful Awful from the Nugget downtown. Try not to spill on yourself. Fail.

18. Invest in the refillable tremor mug at Kokomo in Lake Havasu on spring break. I’m no accountant, but I’m fairly certain that by the amount of refills you’ll inevitably buy, you’ll end up saving money in the long run.

19. Take the winding drive up the hill and spend a day in Virginia City. Can you say “cinnamon whiskey crawl?”

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20. Play quarters at the Corkscroo, then head downtown for a little gambling on your 21st birthday. Because… Reno.

21. Party bus your way to the Wal one Thirsty Thursday. Regret it. Swear you’ll never drink again. Repeat.

22. Slap the bag while floating down the Truckee River. Wear closed-toed shoes and try not to pop your air mattress on the rocks.

23. Make a sacrifice to the great and honorable Mackay before final exams. Pretend like that excuses you from studying.

24. Swing dance the night away in the Jack Daniel’s tent at the Annual Reno Rodeo. Spend far too much money on Jack and Diets.

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25. Show your patriotism by enjoying the great American pastime at a Reno Ace’s game.

Whether you spread these events out over four years or seven, just be sure that by the time you cross the stage at graduation, you won’t have missed out on any of the fun things our community has to offer!

What’s your favorite annual event at the University of Nevada or within the Reno/Tahoe area? Tweet me a picture and I might retweet you!

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