A college student possesses something very special that many people do not: the ability to get involved in clubs, organizations, activities, and events offered by his or her campus. I am proud to say that in the past three years, I have worked as a tutor at the Writing Center, edited for The Great Lake Review magazine and wrote numerous articles for Her Campus (and now The Odyssey!). I've become a member of the Alpha Sigma Eta English Honor Society, participated in Hart Hall's Global Awareness Conference, volunteered at the Office of University Development, joined the Adopt-A-Grandparent program, and more. Now, as an incoming senior at SUNY Oswego, I have come to appreciate the many benefits that can be gained from active student involvement. Below is a list of 10 reasons why you should consider taking advantage of the endless opportunities available to you outside of the normal curriculum:

1. It’s fun.

By participating in various programs and functions offered by your college campus, you can enjoy yourself and have a good time. What could possibly be better?

2. It looks great on a resume.

It’s a competitive world out there. Your future employers will be much more willing to hire someone who has had a great deal of experience and been relatively active throughout his or her college career, as opposed to someone who has simply sat around and done nothing. Being involved will ultimately make you a stronger and more well-rounded candidate for internships, graduate schools, job opportunities, etc.

3. It’s a wonderful way to meet new people.

Joining a club or other social gathering forces you to meet and spend time with other people--many of whom will likely share similar interests, values, and goals. This allows you to form lifelong friendships and expand your social circle, thereby placing you in closer contact with faculty/staff, members of the community, and fellow students.

4. It helps to build community.

Since most college students live on campus, away from their family and friends back home, they may feel homesick at school. Getting involved enables you to reestablish a sense of belonging and will no doubt ease the transition from high school to college.

5. It’s an awesome way to develop crucial leadership skills.

You will be surprised to discover all kinds of fascinating new things about yourself by being involved in group activities and events. The management skills you learn as a result will be highly useful in the future when you must venture out into the real world and begin the dreaded job hunt.

6. It allows you to discover your passions, strengths, and talents.

These can provide you with a sense of self-worth, lead you in new and unexpected directions, and--most importantly--help you succeed in life.

7. It’s the perfect way to maximize learning.

Remember that college is all about learning new information (about yourself, about others, about the world, and about life in general), yet oftentimes the best learning happens outside of the typical classroom setting.

8. It establishes a connection between you and your school.

By familiarizing yourself with the various resources provided by your campus, you will feel like an important part of your college community, ultimately leading to a greater sense of identity and purpose. Consequently, you will be much more satisfied with your overall college experience and therefore less likely to transfer elsewhere.

9. It’s an amazing stress reliever.

Everyone needs a break once in a while--especially college students who are constantly swamped with school work. Getting involved is the perfect way for you to take some time out of your busy day to relax for a bit.

10. It emphasizes the importance of teamwork.

Working in a group environment, engaging in conversation with people from all different backgrounds, and learning to express unique beliefs/ideas with others are all invaluable skills that will ultimately help you thrive in the workplace and in life.

The college campus is full of wonderful resources for students; it would be an absolute shame for them to not be utilized. Getting involved will not only enhance your overall college experience, but it will also introduce you to a world of endless opportunities. So what are you waiting for? Go out there and explore all the incredible things your school has to offer!