Being involved on campus is an important part of your college education. It enables you to mature personally, socially, intellectually and spiritually. Involvement enhances your opportunities for career development, teaching you various skills which will help you professionally after graduation. Giving your time and talents to an organization will not only help that group, it will make your college experience a more valuable and more enjoyable one.
A major concern of new CU students is how to meet people and make friends. No one can relate to all 5,000 students, so attempt to find smaller groups. These groups can be student organizations, campus organizations, student government or community service units.
Students who become involved in campus groups and organizations are more likely to continue through graduation because they develop ties and friendships, which help them “anchor” into the campus. These relationships act as a source of support during the difficult moments in a college career. Through involvement, you are likely to meet more people who share similar interests (i.e.,drama), abilities (i.e., tutoring math) or ideals (i.e., to advocate for the poor). They can serve as reinforcement of your interests and ideology, which often leads to personal satisfaction and a greater sense of purpose.
Through involvement, you will acquire skills and values that will not only enhance your growth and development, but also enable you to fulfill your civic and social responsibilities in the future. These skills and values include problem solving, interpersonal skills, organization, responsibility, service orientation and participating attitudes.
FOR YOUR CAREER
The education and personal development you acquire through organizational experiences while at CU can be important to your career. Cameron University as an institution supports and encourages participation in extracurricular activities, considering them an important part of your education and training. The University provides the best setting for you to explore your potential, to take risks, and to try out new things and ideas. Campus organizations can introduce you to internship, volunteer, and networking opportunities that will help you as you pursue your chosen career.
QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT
- What have I been involved with previously? (Think about the projects and organizations with which you have been involved.)
- What did I gain from those activities? (Make a list of the skills, knowledge, personal contacts, etc., that you gained from those prior experiences.)
- What new skills and abilities would I like to gain? (What new skills would you like to develop through your new involvements?)
- What am I interested in getting involved in? (Based on the skills you would like to acquire or develop,decide what activities will afford you the opportunity to develop those skills.)
HOW DO I GET INVOLVED?
Now that you have a better understanding of why you should be involved, let’s talk about how you are going to do it. There are several avenues to get involved on campus. The trick is figuring out in which organizations you want to invest your time and energy.
When you first arrive at Cameron, begin looking online, attend the student organization fair, and look at the bulletin boards for meeting times and locations. Attend as many different meetings as you can in order to find out about the opportunities available to you. Test the waters and see if you fit within the organization and if you feel strongly about its mission on campus. You also can come by the Office of Campus Life on the 2nd floor of the MCC and they can point you in the right direction.
Once you have an idea about which organization(s) you want to join, continue to volunteer and serve that group in any way you can. When you feel ready for more responsibility, apply for a leadership position (special events, public relations, secretary, treasurer, etc.) within that organization. This will allow you to have a more active role and shape the university community. Eventually, you might want to apply to be the president or vice president of that organization. These roles include a great deal of responsibility but are very beneficial for your personal development.
- Attend as many meetings as possible and volunteer to help with different programs and events.
- Decide which groups you want to invest yourself in and begin taking on more responsibility within that organization.
- When you feel ready for more leadership, apply to be a member of a committee or an officer.
- If you enjoy that leadership role, continue to be an officer and consider being the chair or president of the organization.