What’s your plan for your college journey?
Does it include making the most out of every growth opportunity in college?
If your answer is heck yes, then getting involved on campus is a must!
What is campus involvement?
Campus involvement may be described as college-related activities outside a classroom that a college student participates in.
For instance, being an active member of a college club, volunteering for your favorite non-profit college chapter organization, or playing a competitive sport for your college.
Is campus involvement a must for college students?
Campus involvement isn’t a must for college students. However, it does provide ample opportunity to help students develop or improve their soft skills and make connections.
Plus, college students who are new to college life have opportunities to meet other college students with similar interests and also provide an opportunity to make new friends.
Therefore, if you want to develop your soft skills, while you make new friends, then it’s time to become involved in campus life outside the classroom.
How to get involved on campus
Getting involved on campus is actually fairly easy. You just need to decide what you want to do. Here’s a list of ideas to get you started on the right path!
- Get a job on campus
- Join an academic club
- Start a student organization
- Attend campus events
- Give back
- Join a sorority or fraternity
- Join an intramural or club sports team
- Attend a few college parties
- Become a mentor
- Participate in competitions
- Attend study groups
- Participate in research
- Visit on-campus facilities like the gym, the cafeteria on campus or the museum on campus if available
- Be active in student government
- Join the school paper
Overall, this is a great list! However, let’s review my top six ways to get involved on campus!
1. Get a job on campus!
Getting a job on campus!
For example, consider becoming a resident assistant, getting a gig at the cafeteria, or what’s about becoming a tutor!
In short, getting a job on campus is one of the best ways to get involved on campus.
Simple, you have a great opportunity to help your college and/or university create value for yourself and other students, and you get paid!
Plus, let’s not forget about how the experience gained from that opportunity can be used to enhance your college resume. How cool is that?
Thus, if you want to be actively involved on campus, get a job on campus.
Now you are maybe wondering, how difficult or easy it is to gain employment on campus, and that is a legit concern, especially for incoming freshmen.
However, don’t let fear get the best of you. Instead, start by finding ways to strengthen your current resume and seek help if you find the process overwhelming.
Additionally, don’t be tempted to misrepresent facts on your resume.
Now, while it may help you get an interview in some cases, it’s unethical and there can be serious repercussions if you get caught. In other words, overall it’s not worth it.
2. Join an academic club
Another way to be active on campus is to join an academic club! Yes!
Now, in this instance, you get to kill two birds with one stone!
So apart from becoming active on campus, you spend time and get to know people who share similar interests with you.
So, if you’re looking to make friends at university, this could present a great opportunity for you to do just that.
Plus, joining certain academic clubs does come with additional perks or benefits that are sometimes overlooked.
Four of these perks or benefits include:
- Firstly, scholarship opportunities some academic clubs make available to their top-performing academic student members.
- Secondly, joining academic clubs can help you improve your grades. Most proactive academic clubs or groups create and manage tutoring programs to help members and non-members alike improve their performance in that academic area.
- Thirdly, let’s talk about networking opportunities! Yes, the members and advisors you build a relationship with can one day help you get an interview at a company you dream of working for.
- Lastly, joining academic clubs, especially relating to your field of study, can help boost your resume. Plus, if you want to stand out, even more, consider gaining a leadership role in that academic group.
All in all, if you want to be active on campus, joining an academic club is one of the top things you can do. Don’t sleep on it. In fact, do it as soon as you step foot on campus!
3. Start a student organization
Get involved on campus by starting a new student organization.
So maybe you want to become an active member of a certain club, but the club in question isn’t available on campus!
How unfortunate, right?
So do you give up?
Are you going to let this stop you?
Or are you going to use this opportunity to bring other students together to help create something great?
Now let’s be real, founding a club has its challenges, and it’s definitely more complex than just becoming a member of a college club that is already established.
However, it does present an opportunity to be creative, be innovative, and be a leader among other things.
Therefore, rise to the challenge and just do it!
If the club you want to be a member of isn’t on campus, create it!
After all, according to Milton Berle, “if opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”
4. Attend campus events
So this one is fairly easy to do.
In fact, you have probably indulged in a few campus events and didn’t even realize by doing so you were proactively getting involved on campus!
Thus, if you want to get more involved on campus and/or more involved in college life in general, consider attending a few or more campus events.
Now you may be wondering how can you get more involved on campus or college life if you don’t even know when or where these events are being held.
Yes, the struggle is real and in this case, being and staying in the know is everything.
One way you can stay informed about events happening on campus is to stay plugged in with your college social media accounts to find out where all the action is.
Other ways include:
- Paying close attention to the notice boards around campus.
- Checking your college EDU email account for campus events announcements.
- Joining and participating in communities or forums created by your college for students.
Overall, being in the know makes participating in campus events so much easier.
So, follow your college on social media, check your college EDU email account, and join communities created by your college for students.
5. Give back through community service
Pay it forward!
Make a difference!
So you want to be active on campus? Have you considered giving back through community service?
Well, let me tell you a little secret!
If you plan on applying for scholarships and joining a sorority or fraternity, seriously consider volunteering because apart from GPA, performing community service is one of the bullet points on your resume that helps you stand out.
Special note if you want to join a sorority or fraternity, but you’re not a legacy applicant, then your community service and leadership roles in an academic club and/or sports club will certainly matter even more.
In fact, for most sororities and fraternities, a high GPA does not substitute for a lack of community service and leadership capabilities, especially if you’re not a legacy applicant.
Therefore, start working on these areas as soon as you step foot on campus.
6. Join a sorority or fraternity
Joining a sorority or fraternity has its benefits, and one of them is it becomes easier to be active on campus.
In fact, a thousand times easier, simply because most Greek organizations are very active on campus.
For instance, members from top Greek organizations are community service champions!
Furthermore, the Greek on-campus host some of the best college parties and events, their members hold leadership positions in student government and top academic and sports clubs, and the networking opportunities are great, especially if you are considering starting a career in the corporate world.
However, even with the benefits, there are a few situations when joining a sorority or fraternity may not be ideal for every college student.
For, instance, Greek life can be very distracting for a college student who lacks time management skills or a student would perhaps just overindulge in the partying side of Greek life.
Plus, getting into your sorority or fraternity of choice can be very stressful and expensive.
Expensive you say?
Yes, expensive. Overall, being Greek isn’t cheap! In fact, it’s a lifetime commitment that requires a financial commitment from members.
Therefore, while it can certainly make your college life more enjoyable – it can definitely do the opposite, so do your research before joining any sorority or fraternity.