The college experience is all that you make it. Why deprive yourself of the full college ride? Why not take advantage of using your class notes? Why rob yourself of the friendships that could be made? Why would a student not invest the time in either a club or student organization that they’re passionate about? Because, “I want to, but…” or “I don’t think I have time” doesn’t fill the empty seats.
Along with staying up too late before an 8 a.m. exam, or maybe having one too many for your 21st birthday, many students can agree that not joining any extracurricular activities as soon as they could is high on their list of regrets. Getting there is the hardest part. Whether you have a shy personality, are juggling a job or feel overwhelmed with your classes, that opportunity is waiting for you to grab it.
Joining a club or organization gives a student so much more to experience. You learn things that aren’t taught in class, and you’re exposed to real-world type work. It might scare some to take on a task that they haven’t had to do before, but this is the time in our lives that we are supposed to take that risk. You have the students in your organization or club to help you, and if you mess up, better now then after graduation. Now is the time to make those mistakes, try new things to see what you’re good at. Because, in a blink of an eye, you’ll be throwing your cap up in the air with a diploma in your hand saying, “Congratulations on doing the bare minimum!”
On a more serious note, sometimes it’s understandable; many students have valid reasons why they can’t find time to go to a club’s meetings. But there are so many to choose from with such a variety of times, it would be more of a task to find a club that doesn’t fit in your schedule than one that would. For many students, it’s not the lack of trying but rather their super shy personalities and their nerves that get the best of them, which is sad, especially if the student is interested in a club. Sometimes it takes that extra push from a professor or advisor to get a student to take advantage and really see what an organization or club has to offer. And what they offer is a lot.
After getting into your first club, that experience makes you grow so much as a person and student. The awkwardness or feelings of discomfort soon leave and are replaced with confidence.
Meeting new people and having important conversations only makes you a more sociable, well-rounded person. These friendships and connections that are made can be everlasting.
Additionally, just because you’re a math major doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be involved in what the ecology group is doing. Reaching out to clubs that aren’t corresponding to your major can be just as worthwhile, especially if it’s your hobby or an extra activity you enjoy. Being part of a club or organization is not just about the title, it’s about what you do with it. Being part of something student-organized gives you the power to make decisions, plan events, contact people or maybe even play a leadership role on your own. At times, it’s a lot of work, but in the end it is purposeful.
Students who are in clubs or student organizations have a better understanding of their community and what is currently happening on campus. These people are more aware of what is happening around them, and want to better the community in their own way. We need more students informed so, as a small, but strong liberal arts school, we can grow and create a better shaped society.
Don’t you want to be the student to graduate knowing exactly what you’re doing? Don’t you want to be awarded for something you’re already doing in class? How about making your college proud and other college’s jaws drop? Take a minute and think about it. There’s always going to be an empty seat with your name on it.