For those who have never been or have yet to attend college, I’d imagine there to be several different ways one may envision what a true college experience is. It may include sleepless nights full of studying for tests, partying all through the week, linking up with friends and constantly being on the move,etc. There are a million different things that could come to mind when detailing an ideal college experience.
But going to class, then spending a majority of your free time in your dorm wouldn’t even be close to making the list of ideas, right?
Well, unfortunately, that situation becomes a reality for college students more often than you may think. And it’s not their fault! Being in a brand new environment and on such big campuses, sometimes students naturally don’t know how to go about getting involved.
Some things are easier said than done, and for some, this is definitely one of them. If that someone is you, you’re in the right place – we’ve got you covered. Here’s all you need to know about getting involved on your school’s campus!
Put Yourself Out There
The first and most fundamental step of getting involved is having the willingness to be social. And by this, I don’t mean a speaking to every human you walk past in an attempt to be the most popular person in campus.
A big concern most students have when coming to college is the worry and need of immediately making friends and establishing relationships. Listen, you don’t sweat all that. As long as you’re putting yourself in the right places, trust that it’ll come and it’ll happen naturally.
With that in mind, just get out there and interact. Be yourself. No need to force or overthink anything. Just remain open minded when social situations do arise (events on campus, linking with friends, etc.), and let the nature of getting involved take its course.
Test The Waters
With new involvements come new surroundings, most of which being unfamiliar, so it’s only normal not knowing what to expect. You’ll be exposed to new ideas, meeting new groups of people with a range of differing views and opinions.
So in that regard, consider taking things slow when you’re first getting out there. Get your feet wet. Find out your likes and dislikes. Align yourself with groups of people who share the same values and beliefs as you. Or do the opposite! Try surrounding yourself with groups or organizations that you aren’t too knowledgeable of, but spark your interest.
Getting involved is essentially one big learning process. You’re given the opportunity of learning a lot about your community, environment, peers, as well as yourself. You might join a group just to give it a shot and up end discovering a newfound love for volunteering in your hometown or being apart of the planning process for events on campus. I mean, you never know until you give it a try, right?
Your Professor Is Your Friend
For those reading that are about to enter their freshman year, here’s a heads up. Some of your earlier courses will be PACKED. With big lecture halls and high student counts, you’ll be surrounded by what seems like a million other students in class. You won’t even know if your professor can see you from where you’re sitting. It’ll be easy for class to start to feeling a bit impersonal.
But don’t let that discourage you from taking advantage of the guidance and advice you can receive from your professor. Chances are they’re been there for years and are well-versed in knowledge of clubs and orgs that most students show interest in on campus.
This goes for students who’re already taking upper level courses, too. This method may be even more beneficial in that case, assuming the professor could steer you into the direction of clubs/orgs that support your area of study and will look good on your resume.
Don’t Overdo It
Getting involved requires a serious deal of balance and time management. There’s so many responsibilities and things to take care of and normally very little time to do so. The lifestyle and activities can be exciting and may have you eager, but a common mistake amongst a lot of students is rushing into it and jumping into a million different things within their first week.
With that said, make sure you only fill your plate with an amount of tasks you know you can handle and commit to them wholeheartedly once you’ve decided your ways of getting involved. Spreading yourself thin will only lead to extra stress that you won’t want.
The process of making the connections needed to get involved may take a little extracurricular effort at first, but the resume building, lifelong relationships, leadership and time management skills you can gain from it are all definitely worth it in the long run. Just be you, do things you find joy in and make you college experience one to remember.
Are you active on your college campus? In what ways did you go about getting involved? Let us know in the comments!
Featured image source: www.pinterest.com