As a student, it can be very easy to believe that academics should be your sole priority. While it is certainly true that your coursework should take precedence, there are other opportunities on campus for both academic and personal growth—extracurriculars, for instance.
Involvement in one or more campus organizations has many advantages. For instance, participating in an extracurricular can help you more effectively manage your time. Balancing your studies with the duties of a student organization is fantastic practice for the often competing demands that will be placed on your time after university.
You can also widen your social circle. Student groups may be based around common interests, but the students who participate in these organizations are often diverse, with differing backgrounds. If English is your second language, interacting with others in this context will provide you with an excellent opportunity to improve your speaking skills.
Becoming a member of an extracurricular can demonstrate that you are more than your grades. You will be able to obtain experience with leadership, planning, problem-solving, and teamwork. These skills shine on a resume, and they may give you an advantage when applying for employment or an internship.
In addition, you may discover new strengths and talents. Campus organizations rely upon their membership to achieve their goals and to run smoothly. As you carve out a role within the group, you will learn about skills that you did not know you possessed. Conversely, you may also discover that there are tasks that you do not enjoy or excel at.
If you are a student attending university outside of your home country, extracurriculars can provide a sense of belonging and community. As a member of a campus organization, you may receive invitations to special events, such as group social outings. You may meet new study partners. Many of these connections can turn into lifelong friendships.
Many student groups also have a faculty sponsor. This can place you in direct contact with someone who may be able to assist you academically, or with possible internships or jobs.
What is the best way to discover campus organizations? First, decide which areas you are interested in or passionate about. Then, browse postings on campus bulletin boards and online forums. Speak with other students about their activities, and perhaps sit in on several meetings to get a feel for the group. Finally, look at your schedule to decide whether you can balance your academics with your extracurricular commitments. You will eventually find the perfect balance.
Becoming involved with campus organizations is very beneficial both academically and personally. University is the perfect time to branch out and to try activities that you may not have done before. So—be sure to branch out and explore life beyond the books!
Niki Bridges is a contributing writer for UniversityTutor.com, the world’s largest global marketplace for finding independent tutors.