When people ask me how I got involved on campus, I simply tell them it's because I had to. (Okay, maybe I didn't have to, but I wanted too.) Throughout high school, everyone knew me as the "best all-around". I've never like that title, but I guess being the Class President and a member of 10+ clubs made me be perceived that way. I've always been goal-driven and determined, so being involved in school instantly gave me opportunities to be a leader and a volunteer. Coming to college, I knew the importance of joining extracurricular activities outside of my regular class schedule. Here are a few tips on how to get involved on your campus, no matter your interests or academic major. Don't wait until graduation is three weeks away. Start now.
To meet new people
As a freshman, college can be scary. Some people move miles away from home and don't know where to begin. Normally college campuses will have an organization takeover for students to gather and join clubs. You never know who'll you meet unless you put yourself out there!
To build your resume
Let's face it. Your parents, teachers, coaches and mentors have all told you about the importance of a resume. It's the first piece of paper to get you through the door to any job. Being involved on campus shows you will gain knowledge and skills needed in the workforce. Employers like to see that you do more than just study behind a desk all day.
To discover your interests and passions
Joining a campus organization can help you discover what you're truly passionate about. I've always loved writing and photography, so signing up to be a part of Alabama Odyssey helped me find something I enjoy. Most colleges have over 300 organizations, so there's a guarantee you should be interested in something.
To become a leader
Nobody became president without becoming a member first. You'll be surprised at the leadership skills you can gain by being involved on a team and collaborating with other students. Even as a sophomore, I have taken on the role in many executive councils to be on the leadership team for the clubs I'm involved in. You have to start somewhere.
To fill your time
Sitting alone in your dorm room after class is no fun. Trust me, I've been there. Find an activity you enjoy to fill your time and meet new friends. College allows for everyone the freedom to make their own schedule, so you'll have plenty of time outside of studying to be involved.
To relieve your stress
While studying for five hours for a chemistry exam may sound like a good idea, make sure you are giving yourself enough rest to feel prepared for your assignments due. Go to the gym and play some basketball or find a community center you can volunteer at in the afternoon. All of these activities are great stress relievers away from putting your nose in a book.
To have connections
I would not be the same person I am today without the connections I have made through campus involvement. As a student worker, I have made professional relationships with my coworkers which led me to an off-campus internship this semester. I enjoy working with people, so meeting new faces and shaking hands is something I strive to do. Campus connections can lead to job opportunities, internships, leadership positions and more.
To find community
Getting involved helps you establish a sense of belonging on campus. There's no doubt in my mind that joining my college ministry at church helped ease the transition from high school to university. No matter what organization you join, getting involved can help you find a new group of friends you can eventually call your chosen family.