Getting Involved on Campus
I am guessing that you have been told to "get involved" or "find a hobby" for the majority of your lifetime. Luckily, I was an obedient little person and decided I did, in fact, want to get involved. I found value in extracurricular activities at a young age, and I am here to tell you why you should get involved (on campus), too!
As I mentioned, I found an interest in many activities at an early age. I think this made it easier for me to get involved once I actually got to college. I came in with a mindset that club work is important and I need to find a few clubs I can call home. I was pretty fearless if I do say so myself; I jumped right in! I quickly learned how awesome getting involved on campus is. Way more fun than the clubs I participated in during high school (other than band, of course.) But why do I feel so much more content with my Purdue clubs than how I felt before, and why is it so important?
First off, there are so many events for clubs to get involved in. There's Ag Week, Welcome Week, Greek events, open houses, events on Memorial Mall and the list goes on. There is a lot more possibility to host events and collaborate with other clubs. Then again, I went from a class of 98 to a class of 6, 812. Clearly, there are a lot more people to work with. One perk of having such a large pool of people is you are more likely to find individuals truly passionate about their club work. It becomes easier to meet a diverse group of people who still have common interests. Pretty cool and it makes me pretty happy.
That "pretty happy" part is extremely important. Having something (or someone) that distracts you from the stresses of college classes and still allows you to feel productive, well, that is pretty darn important. And it looks mighty fine on a resume, too.
But there is more to it than the people, I must admit. I have found a lot more self-accomplishment than I have ever really noticed before. I have accepted way more responsibility, which is probably good and bad, and I have really found my niche. I am heavily involved in three organizations: The Collegiate Cattlemen's Association, ACT (or Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow) and I am a student ambassador for my department. I am also an Issues 360 fellow this academic year. Each group allows me to focus on main areas that help me with my career, but I also have an amazingly fun time along the way.
You could learn something new about yourself while being involved in a group. And guess what? That is important, too. Example! Let's say you agree to join a subcommittee for a club that is focusing on club promotion. You then volunteer to make posters that will be hung up across campus. Throughout high school you thought you might like to design things, but you never had an opportunity to find out. Now, you are designing awesome posters and discover "Hey! Maybe I would be interested in graphic design after all!" See the point? Club activities help your hidden skills blossom and could change your career direction. Really, it could happen.
Plus, the opportunities are truly abundant. Almost to the point it becomes overwhelming. My clubs offer field trips, chances to network, conferences, events...you get the point. There is a lot going on, all the time. And I love it. It has continued to help me practice time management, create friendships and ultimately do what I love. I get to talk about cows. And constantly fill my Passion Planner using glorious, colorful pens. It's the best. And networking is literally the most important thing to do in college. No joke.
Although it may seem boring to focus on stuff that benefits your career, it is the route I have chosen to take. You can totally be involved in other cool activities that may not seem as serious, but are still important. Oh yeah! Purdue has a Disney club, a quidditch team and over 100 other organizations. Most colleges will have something insanely awesome to get involved with. I just think it's important to find an activity that will not only benefit you personally, but will help you develop skills and experience that are applicable in the future.
I have tried new things, met new people, enhanced my skills and truly have found my place on campus. I really love my clubs. Can you tell?
It has been great to boast about my wonderful club experiences, but really I hope I have inspired you to go out there and get involved. Seriously, you won't regret it. It is important after all. What's your favorite activity? Tell me in the comments below!