Even if you’ve just settled in to college life, getting involved in extracurricular activities and joining clubs are excellent ways to enhance your experience. Remember- you’re only going to be a student for a short time, so it’s important you take advantage of the resources you have available to you now. Even campus facilities, like the school gym, should be utilized. Just think- in 4 years you’ll have to pay hundreds of dollars if you want to join a gym again. For example, take a look at this list of organizations from Oxford.
How do you get involved?
Start by visiting your student activities office on campus. They can usually provide you with a plethora of information about student groups, academic clubs, intramural sports, campus events, and contacts, and they’ll be happy to help answer your questions about getting involved. Also, speak to older students in your major about their own campus involvement to see if they can suggest any groups or clubs that might interest you.
Most organizations have an informational session at the beginning of the year to introduce new or newly interested students to their group. Attend as many informational sessions that interest you, and find out about meeting times and group expectations.
Don’t go overboard.
While many colleges offer an overwhelming amount of campus clubs and activities, limit yourself to one or two that you can commit to. Becoming a group leader or committee person really helps you to get to know people with your interests, make important connections, and become a familiar face on campus- not to mention it looks great on your resume. A good strategy is to choose one academic group and one extracurricular activity- like an intramural sport.
What if you don’t find anything that particularly interests you?
There are alternative ways to meet people and have fun on campus, like volunteering. Volunteering allows you to meet other people in your community who aren’t necessarily students, and also gives you the opportunity to give back to a cause you believe in. If that doesn’t sound appealing, try starting your own campus group. Your college will probably be happy to help you get your group started, assist you with things such as advertising and getting the word out to students, and depending on the success of your group, they may even help you fund your organizations activities, projects, and trips.
Remember, while attending class and studying is extremely important, broadening your horizons, making connections, and creating lasting friendships are important benefits of being in school- so get out there and get involved!