Benefits of freshman involvement

By Kayla Brown

It feels like just the other day was the first day of classes, and now we are officially in week six of the fall semester. Wow, time flies. Before you know it, you will be entering the Convocation Center with your graduating class in your cap and gown, walking across the stage, shaking President Miller’s hand and receiving your Bachelor’s Degree; then off to graduate school, a job, service organization or the military you go. The last thing you want to do is look back at your undergraduate years and regret not being socially involved in anything. Virginia Wesleyan is not a cheap college to attend. Why pay all of this money if all you’re going to do is go to class, eat at the cafe then go back to your dorm?
It’s important that you enjoy the social experience and get involved, while still focusing on your academics. I remember during my freshman year, I was involved in five organizations by the end of the fall semester. I was the first out of my group of friends to become involved in a club or organization on campus. I would constantly encourage them to become involved, and do something besides hang out with each other in the dorm all of the time. There is a world outside of your friend group. Explore it. I truly enjoyed my freshman year because I was involved in community service and various clubs and organizations. Being active on campus led me to attend campus events, meet people that I might’ve never talked to and gain skills that I will be able to use in the professional world.
One of the best benefits of being involved is the opportunity to write your experiences on your resume, and explain how those particular skills that you gained will be beneficial to the company that you’re applying to. College is the perfect time to branch out, network and make different connections with different people. It is vital to network with faculty members and peers because you never know who they know. As the old saying goes, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Therefore, make the connections for not only professional gain, but for personal gain as well. I’ve also learned a lot about life and other random things that I would’ve never learned from the people that were in the same clubs and organizations as me. With these experiences, I have grown so much as an individual.
Luckily, getting involved on our campus is easy. There are more than 50 clubs and organizations on our campus, meaning that you’re bound to find one that interests you. If not, then you can always create your own club. All you need is five people and a faculty advisor.
Becoming a member of a club or organization is not the only way to become involved. There are also weekly volunteer opportunities offered through the Community Service office, and a variety of intramural sports offered throughout the year through RecX. The opportunities to become involved on our campus are limitless. Don’t limit yourself, and don’t let your college years fly by without becoming involved in something. After all, you only experience your undergraduate years once. Afterwards, you’re officially in the “real world.”