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.
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?
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).
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!