Traditionally the college classroom was the center of educational activity. However there has been a radical shift in the system. Classrooms can be transitional. They can be the music room when you practice for jazz band or the soup kitchen where you volunteer.
Now, extra-curriculars are known as co-curriculars because activities should no longer be viewed as "extras" but an integral and complementary part of the educational process. University is a transformative phase that should be embraced and here's 5 reasons to get involved…
1. Your personal development
Participating in student activities and programs has been proven to have a positive correlation with psychosocial development. Students involved in student organizations were observed during their freshman and senior year of university and reported having higher levels of development in regards to career planning, life management, cultural participation and educational involvement. Highly engaged students such as student leaders demonstrated enhanced development in interpersonal competence, practical competence, cognitive complexity, civic involvement and humanitarianism. Most importantly, getting involved had a positive impact in clarifying, developing and establishing purpose in one’s life. Afterall, that's what we are all searching for…
2. Expand your network
Networking doesn't necessarily mean attending some stuffy cocktail party and handing out your business card like a baller . A person is more likely to help you in the future if you have shared a personal moment. Joining committees is a perfect networking platform! You engage with people that you might not normally have come across during your college years, people who share the same passions and interests as you.
Bonds aren't formed whilst you space out in class. No, they are formed while you are stressed out of your mind because you have an event in two days, your sponsor has just walked out on you, your expected ticket sales haven't materialized and yet… you and your team MAKE IT WORK. These moments are imprinted in your memory. These are the networks that last beyond the classroom, your university years and will be carried throughout your lifetime.
3. Make an Impact
At the end of your four years at university, you will walk across the stage and pick up that astronomically over-priced piece of paper: your power diploma. You will be anxiety stricken about what the future holds and reminiscing about the past and inevitably asking yourself what you have really achieved these few years? Alright, you earned your diploma, but is that it? Don't waste your precious college years; it shouldn't be summed up in one piece of paper. When you walk across that stage, pick up that diploma with the confidence that you did it justice. You left the school better than you found it, you made your mark.
4. Experience, Experience, Experience
Dedicating years to building up an organization you are deeply passionate about gives you a sense of purpose. As a young person, it's incredibly thrilling to have the freedom and responsibility to run a mini company of your own! Academics and committee life become mutually reinforcing. From scratch you learn to manage budgets of tens of thousands of dollars, write SOPs for everything, recruit and manage the right talent, develop innovative project concepts, market using various digital channels amongst a plethora of many other tasks. It won’t always be easy, in fact almost every day will bring its own set of challenges and stresses. There will be plenty of sleepless nights, and round-the clock meetings. But along the way, you will learn to deal with the many surprises, disappointments and failures life likes to gift, with optimism and persistence. Whilst these years will be stressful beyond measure, the experiences will be oh so fulfilling, and you would never wish to take a moment back.
5. Build your skills not only your resume
The primary motivation to get involved should not be to beef up your résumé. As author Anna Quindlen once said,
It’s so much easier to write a resumé than craft a spirit.
Employers don't want a pencil pusher! They want to hire someone who has taken the initiative to develop themselves and their community. Companies want to have individuals who are well rounded with a diverse array of interests, experiences and opinions.
6. Get out there
All the resources are available to you; the question is how well do you want to utilize them for your future? Take your life by the reins and shape your own growth and development
Go beyond the four walls of the classroom and enter the classroom that is your wider community.Everyone is your teacher and every experience is a potential lesson in the making. So, get out there, get active and get involved. Great things await!
This article was first published on the EHL blog.