All throughout college I have attended classes faithfully, paying attention to lectures and completing assignments. Who doesn’t want a high GPA? I noticed that I was achieving stellar grades, but I wasn’t really learning. My friends and I decided to start a club called the National Association of Black Journalists. Immediately, I noticed a change. I learned to make club flyers on my own through Canva and I learned to write in a way that catered to my organization’s audience by trial and error. The more I wrote great posts, the more likes I received, and more people paid attention. Your grades and courses are extremely important, but that’s not all that matters. Involvement and experience is a HUGE part of college but, you’ll learn more with the activities you do outside of the classroom than inside. Here are five reasons to get involved on campus and in college organizations.
Joining clubs in college can be wonderful for networking. You meet so many new people, who may just be the reason you land that job you want after college. Networking in college allows you to meet some of the most diverse people you will ever meet. This will come in handy in the future when you are in the work force. Let’s say you made a Japanese friend in college, and this friendship allows you to learn things you never knew about the culture. Fast forward to you working in your career and you have a huge meeting with a prestigious Japanese businessman. You’ll be prepared because you’ve had experience with Japanese culture and you might know what to do and what not to do. College allows you to make connections early on. Try to maintain those relationships.
I currently serve as the public relations chair of my organization, but I learned everything I know from joining NABJ. This experience is great because when you go on interviews for jobs, they will always ask what experience you have. For example, when I went on an interview for my internship they asked “what promotional work have you done?” Joining clubs, especially ones that are specific to your field is a great way to gain that experience. Most employers care more about you proving to be a good investment than your GPA. If you can prove to them you will be an asset from prior experiences like internships or clubs, this will help you stand out in the job market.
So many opportunities come from being involved on campus. Campus organizations often go to retreats, conventions and conferences to represent their organization. Sometimes your university will pay for it. I went to Detroit this summer for a journalism conference, and I met so many people who are established in media-related fields. I also got the chance to meet some pretty cool celebrities like Chance The Rapper. The media professionals gave me their business cards and emails. A few even offered to interview me for internships. West Chester University paid for the flight, the conference and the hotel and this would’ve never happened if I didn’t decide to join a club. Other opportunities like traveling abroad can present itself. A lot of community service organizations travel abroad to third world countries to serve those communities. This is a great way to see the world and give back.
Joining a club, organization or participating in a sport can be so much fun. You have the chance to meet so many great people who may have the same interests as you. Some of my best experiences have come from my on-campus involvements. As an Orientation Leader I got the chance to go to Rutgers University for an orientation conference. It was wonderful. There was free food, training sessions and we played lots of games, it was like a camp for orientation leaders. I learned so much. The best part about it all was that it was free! The school paid for the entire conference, hotel and transportation included. I’ve also attended free conferences where I met celebrities, all paid for by my school!
5. Time Management
Being able to manage your time wisely is an excellent skill. Involvement is a great way to develop time management skills. When you are a part of an organization you should make time for it as if it were a job. It is helpful to plan your day out. Stick to the schedule you have made. It also helps you to know what you’ve achieved in that day. When you look back in your schedule and see that you have completed everything you set out to do that day, you will feel accomplished. If you didn’t complete everything, don’t worry, this just means you know exactly what you have to do the next day. So, go buy that cool planner you saw at Target, and get involved! All of these tips are a great way to get the most out of college and prepare yourself for the career you want.