Friday, January 23, 2015

Getting Involved: Why it's Important and Where to Begin

Although going to class and studying each day may be enough to earn a degree, getting involved outside of the classroom can provide greater reward.

Here are 10 reasons why you should get involved on your college campus:

  1. Pursue your interests
    Getting involved in clubs and organizations related to your academic interest can be a great way to narrow your focus and discover the direction you want to go in.
  2. Gain new skills and experience
    Clubs and organizations provide a type of hands-on experience that you can't get inside of the classroom. For example, broadcasting on your school's radio or television station will allow you to directly practice any skills you may have learned in a broadcasting class.
  3. Make connectionsThe people you meet are just as important as the skills you learn. Peers and staff who are involved in your organization can serve as mentors and they can also point you in a certain direction or connect you with different resources. 
  4. Build a communityBeing a part of a group of people with a common interest can help students feel more acquainted with their peers and campus.
  5. Develop self-confidenceIn clubs and organizations, you may be asked to step out of your comfort zone. This will benefit you in terms of gaining self-confidence.
  6. Share your talentsWhether you have an article published in the newspaper or you just gave a speech at a student senate meeting, there is no feeling quite as rewarding as sharing your talents with your peers.
  7. Explore leadership opportunitiesIf you enjoy your organization and want to push it one step further, consider applying for a leadership position. Being an editor-in-chief, secretary, or vice president of an organization can provide you with even more beneficial skills and experience.
  8. Build your resumeFuture employers are looking for well-rounded individuals who took the initiative to get involved beyond the classroom. 
  9. Learn to prioritizeHaving free time isn't always good. Learning to be on time, work out a schedule, and prioritize time are all things you will learn when becoming involved.
  10. Have fun
    True happiness can be found in an organization that you are passionate about. Once you find something that interests you, it can make your perspective on your major and career much brighter. 

Now you're probably thinking, "That all sounds great, but how do I find a club or organization that is a good fit for me?"
Typically, schools hold campus involvement fairs for students to discover all of the clubs and organizations on campus. Big Future by College Board is also a great resource to find a general overview of activities at different colleges and universities. Once you have searched the name of the school, go to the Campus Life tab and then click on Activities for a general list. 

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