Welcome to another week of COLLEGE CHRONICLES! This week, I am excited to share this post from Lori about why you need to get involved in college. I am an extreme advocate for trying new things in college, because I have met some awesome people along the way. So, without further ado, here are the 4 reasons you need to get involved in college!
As a college freshman, I was the girl that spent most of her time eating take out dinner from the dining hall in front of her computer. I went home on the weekends and did my laundry with my mom. Now, my mom is great, but she didn’t really have the ability to enhance my college experience the way that being involved in campus organizations did.
Once I made the terrifying decision to go by myself to meet new people at an introductory meeting my entire college experience was changed for the better. Here are four reasons that I have seen, from my own experience, that student organizations can help you thrive during college.
1. Student Organizations help provide the means for you to change the world NOW.
One thing that has set college students apart from other age groups over the years is their passion to change the world. 18-22 year olds have the energy, ambition, and the perseverance to make serious impacts in the lives of people around the world. However, a lot of students view their time in school as preparation for what’s to come rather than the time to make it happen. Sure, you’re learning, honing your skills, prepping to be a future leader, but why not use your gifts to impact others now?
Campus student organizations are poised to help you take leaps of faith during your college experience. Many student groups utilize Spring Break as an opportunity to travel to impoverished locales such as the inner city areas of the U.S. or orphanages in Nicaragua to encourage and uplift those that live there. There are even one-day events on campus where many organizations work together to help the community around them through painting projects, raking leaves, or cleaning gutters. Most fraternities and sororities have a specific philanthropy that they raise funds to support and bring awareness to on campus.
Sure, you could step out on your own and bring Facebook to the world like Mark Zuckerberg. But, I’m pretty sure that most of us aren’t equipped with a golden idea that will take the world by storm. And, I mean, Facebook is great, but can it bring a smile to the face of an impoverished orphan that just needs a hug? I think not.
2. Being a part of student groups contributes to making you a more well-rounded person.
Some might disagree, but I think it’s important for college students to be involved in 2-4 different groups around campus. By different, I mean, not three different horticulture organizations, business fraternities, or religious groups. I am encouraging you to mix it up! Have you always wanted to learn how to knit? Well, there might just be a group for that on your campus. I know there is on the campus where I work! Are you a Harry Potter nerd? Join the Quidditch team! Interested in politics after college? Be a part of the Student Government Association.
But, beware that you don’t become overcommitted. My recommendation of 2-4 different groups was purposeful in suggesting variety, and yet, allowing you to be able to breathe, have a job, and also be a good student (oh yeah, that’s important too!).
3. Campus Organizations help you to make diverse friend groups.
When you are involved in different groups, you will naturally make friends in a variety of contexts. Suddenly, campus seems more like home and you will be seeing familiar faces wherever you go! During college, I was in a religious organization and the Math Club (yep, I’m a pretty big nerd who loves math). My friend groups didn’t really overlap much from these two organizations but that made it a lot more advantageous! I knew I had fun plans throughout the week and people that I knew and trusted to work on Modern Algebra homework with.
I have a picture from graduation day with my Math nerd friends that makes me smile every time I see it. I remember sweating through ridiculously hard exams with these guys and then laughing about it afterward. I also have lots of crazy memories from the campus ministry I was a part of; we spent Spring Break together, they helped me grieve the death of my stepdad during my junior year, and they were
my bridesmaids in my wedding after graduation. Oh, and did I mention that’s where I met and got to know my husband? Potentially meeting your significant other—just another perk of getting involved on campus.Looking for a job in college? GET INVOLVED on campus! Click To Tweet
4. Being involved on campus makes you a more attractive potential employee.
I saved this one for last because I don’t want it to become the focal point but it’s important nonetheless. A potential employer is going to love seeing a job applicant that has been active on campus. Campus involvement highlights your desire to be social and get to know others while also being a part of something more than just making the grades. Academics provide you with “book smarts” and campus organizations provide you with the tools you need to use them.
Also, we can’t forget the networking—oh, the networking possibilities! Our world is one where it’s all about “who you know.” There’s a lot of competition in the job market right now and it’s not unheard of for an extremely qualified college graduate to be working as a barista at Starbucks. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with being a barista, but I think you’d rather have a “leg up” in your career field of choice by networking with fellow Math Clubbers.
Well, I hope I’ve convinced you of the importance of being active on campus. I know that it was crucial to my thriving as a shy, bookish, country girl thrown into a campus of 20,000 other students. From experience, I can guarantee that joining a student organization is something that you’ll never regret!
Lori has been a part of a worldwide campus ministry for the last eight years working with college students in Virginia. She has recently pursued writing and blogging, as well, through the launching of her site, The Novel Endeavor. At The Novel Endeavor, she chronicles her journey through books, motherhood, and adoption. Lori has been married to her husband, Chris, for the last eight years and together they have a beautiful daughter, Aliana, that they welcomed home last year through adoption. Her favorite things include books, coffee, baked goods, watching college basketball, and taking long naps. Make sure you check her out on The Novel Endeavor, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!
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