As future freshman pack up their bags and head off to college, it is safe to assume that many are worried about meeting new people and making friends.
You grow up surrounded by the same people from kindergarten to 12th grade. It becomes very comfortable and predictable for most. Suddenly everyone graduates, and it’s time to start thinking about what’s to come in the next chapter of your life.
People look forward to getting that full college experience, and many want to make sure they are doing college right. Do I join a sorority? Do I join a club? Should I live off-campus? Should I dorm? Where will I make friends?
Getting involved in campus in some way or another is a great way to ensure a pleasant college experience. It helps you feel more connected to your school, discover your passions and strengths, build strong relationships, and, most importantly, build your resume.
Connecting at College:
Community participation in college is always a good idea. This is another opportunity to put yourself out there and try something new. Many schools have resources in school and online that can provide information on how you can get involved, and you can decide for yourself what would work best for you.
It would help if you kept an open mind. This is your chance to get out of your comfort zone. Don’t be scared to try something just because you’ve never done it before. There could be a club or organization on campus that you think you’ll hate that might end up being one of the best things you’ve ever done. Figure out what you like and what you don’t.
Building your Skill-Set
Working with others, especially with your peers, allows you to develop a ton of interpersonal skills such as leadership, teamwork, communication, and prioritization. These are skills that everyone entering a professional work environment should have, and the earlier you can develop these, the better.
Many clubs and organizations on campus can also provide you an opportunity to grow. You may eventually work your way up to a leadership position, managing your organization’s budget and money, creating relationships with other businesses, and networking. Simply taking the initiative to go get involved in additional activities shows that you are a hard worker and have a strong work ethic.
Building Strong Connections
Most clubs and organizations end up becoming a sort of second family. You struggle together, and you succeed together. Joining a group of people on campus who are all in the same major as you helps you build your network early on. These are the same people who will be getting jobs in the same industry as you once you graduate college.
Building and maintaining a strong contact base will serve you well. There will be times that you may need advice, a new opportunity, or even want to build off of your network and reach new people, and your immediate network can help you do that. A strong network allows you to help and be helped.
Participating in extracurricular activities shows that you have time management skills. Being able to balance multiple responsibilities shows future jobs and internships that you know how to prioritize. Time management skills not only help your personal life, but it also benefits your professional life and keeps you organized.
It can also be challenging getting an internship or job with little to no experience. Participating in clubs and organizations related to your major can be smart to build up that resume and secure yourself an internship. Sure, at 19 years old, you probably haven’t worked for a well-established magazine but saying that you spent a year as an editor for your school newspaper shows that you have a little bit of experience.
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