I have gone on many retreats throughout high school and college. Something about them just draws me in every time one is offered. Maybe because they were instrumental for me in forming friendships and finding my community here on campus.

The benefits of going on retreat will serve you whether you're religious or not. Here are definitely some great reasons why you need to go on the next retreat that's offered.

1. New friends

Retreats grant you the opportunity to get close to a lot of people that you may not normally be able to get to know otherwise. Even if tons of friendships don’t come out of it, at least a lot of familiar faces will.

2. Time to reflect

It’s never bad to take some time out of your busy schedule to reflect about life or just to take a break from all the hustle and bustle.

3. New scenery

A lot of retreats will happen off campus and it’s a great opportunity to explore a new area and usually get some good artsy pictures.

4. Gain a new perspective from others

Retreats allow you to get deep with others and usually enter the part of their lives that are usually kept more private. Through hearing their stories, you can easily develop a new perspective on life.

5. Open up

It isn’t always easy to open up to friends and family, but small groups on retreat will definitely get you to do so.

6. S'mores

This is an easy one. Who doesn’t love a good bonfire?

7. Further develop friendships

Even the people you did know before going on retreat will end up becoming a lot closer to you. Maybe acquaintances will become friends or at least you’ll be able to get dinner with them.

8. Find a mentor

Oftentimes, retreats allow you to find someone that you can trust and help you through challenging times. Retreat leaders and any adults that accompany you can become great resources.

9. New playlist

Songs played instantly become your favorite. No questions asked.

10. Learn something new about yourself

Given all of the group time and personal reflection, retreats allow you to learn something about yourself that you may not know.

11. Become part of a community

Certain retreats will hand you a community on a silver platter, and what more can you ask for? Even if the retreat you go on doesn’t serve a specific community, getting involved in campus ministry or other retreats will allow you to possibly lead a retreat of your own in the future and build a community that way.