College isn’t just about drinking. Or parties. Or even grades. College is a chance to experience new things, step outside the box. Even if you weren’t the “involved” type in high school, you can change that now. If you listen to what I have to say, you’ll be taking over the university in no time. First off, there are several ways to get involved, but I’m just going to list the 5 most common ways, so pay attention.
This is possibly the best way to get involved on your campus because you are also making a difference. YOU decide what gets done on your campus and YOU decide where the money is spent. If you have the “see a need, fulfill a need” complex like I do, Student Government is perfect for you. Now, if you’re thinking, “I can’t be president or anything like that” or “I don’t know anything about politics”, Student Government is so much more than that. Most colleges have a range of positions available from senator to president of a college to the president of a class to the president of the university. And many colleges offer classes and informational sessions to newly elected people to show them the ropes and teach them the fundamental knowledge they need to know. I promise, they don’t leave you hanging, but if for some reason you do find yourself wondering “Now what do I do?”, remember: There’s no such thing as a stupid question. Not to mention, you’ll improve your time management skills and possibly even become a bit more responsible.
Orientation Staffer or Mentor
If you are wondering what this is, then let me give you a flashback or maybe a flash-forward: at your orientation, you attended before you started your freshmen year, there were students probably wearing polos guiding you around and smiling all the time. That is the orientation staff. Now, this isn’t for everyone because it is hard work but thoroughly enjoyable. I am on this staff at my college; we call ourselves Student Orientation Staff, or S.O.S because essentially, we are there to help you. Many schools have a very selective process, some have semester-long classes to train you, and a few even offer compensation. Ultimately, it is all about the freshmen, welcoming them to your school, and adjusting them to college life, but in the midst of that, you become a family with your fellow staffers. It’ll be the summer of your life. I promise.
University Program Council
This is possibly the most versatile organization you can join because it covers a wide range of activities. To sum it up, these people plan the events you attend at your college. Ever been to a movie in the quad? Participated in a Homecoming parade? These are events usually put on by UPC. There are many advantages to being involved in this organization. First off, you have a say in what programs are put on. Didn’t like the last movie? That’s okay. Suggest the one you want to see next time. Also, you’ll score a whole lot of t-shirts. And like always, you’ll score a whole lot of friends, too.
College is a time where you grow physically, emotionally, and a place where people are ready and willing to help you grow spiritually. No matter your beliefs, I am almost positive there is a group on your campus ready to meet you where you are. Many have their own buildings with game rooms and some even have cafés. They usually offer a weekly service, and may even offer small groups or a mentor. Ultimately, you gain all these friends that share your faith and have fun while doing it.
Now, contrary to popular belief there is more than one way to do this. You can join the social fraternity or sorority at your school. Many of these groups get a bad rep, but they aren’t all like the movies’ portray them. These groups participate in philanthropic events and donate to a charity of their choice. On top of that though, they host many parties and formals. The good thing about joining this is you are automatically adopted into this family of friends and plunged into campus events. Now, the second type you can join is academic fraternities. Some of these are invitation only because they serve as a way to honor hardworking students, but it’s a good goal to strive for. These organizations can offer many advantages you normally wouldn’t have. You may have the opportunity to attend conventions pertaining to your major or future profession. Also, you are eligible for scholarships exclusive to your fraternity. There are a plethora of other benefits but many are individually catered to your organization.
Now, this is just a list of the 5 most common ways to get involved on your campus, but by no means are these the only ways to do it. Currently, I am involved in 2 of these, but by next semester, I plan on participating in all 5. Try it out. You may find once you join one, you want to join all. After all, you’ll never have as much time on your hands as you do in college. Even if it doesn’t seem that way.