Being involved will enhance your semester

Lauren Walter and Lauren Walter

Welcome to a new semester! Whether it’s your first, or your twelfth, there is always something new to learn. With new classes, jobs, professors and people, there are endless possibilities to explore over the next few months. For students both old and new, this can pose the age-old question, “how do I budget my time?” With all these new events happening, time management can require some serious thought.

But let me give you a little hint: don’t worry. As many of you know, or are soon to find out, there is much more to college life than going to class and work. That time has already been cut out for you, so don’t be anxious about it. Instead, focus on how you can best utilize free time when you have it.

There’s a lot you can do with your spare time: sleep, watch television, play video games, listen to your iPod and so on. And although those activities aren’t bad, there are some things that may help you make the most out of your semester.

I’m talking about using spare time to get involved in a student organization or activity. Now, before you think I’m an advertisement for Campus Involvement, allow me to explain why it’s a good idea to be involved in extra-curricular activities.

Well, for one, it’s much more exciting and fulfilling than sitting around your dorm room or apartment. Instead of watching the 100th rerun episode of “Full House,” go out there and do something good with your time, and you will never complain about being bored ever again.

Of course, there are always occasions when you just need to sit; but don’t get too comfortable, because there’s so much more you can do. Second, you will learn more than you ever imagined. From personal experience, there are qualities and virtues I would have never acquired if I had not invested myself into good student organizations.

For example: a few years ago, I was the worst public speaker you would have ever heard. I would stumble over my words, speak too quickly, laugh when I was nervous and forget what I was saying in the middle of a sentence. It was just awkward!

But how things have changed! Now, public speaking isn’t a problem. I’m not a professional, but I can speak clearly and concisely without any trouble because I had to learn. Being involved made me realize that other people were depending on me to deliver, so I had to do my best because involvement teaches a lot about teamwork, too.

And studies agree.

The College Success Factors Index lists involvement as one of the eight factors that make for a successful college experience. This index provides studies that show there is a strong correlation between involvement and success.

It’s no secret that being involved will enhance this new semester. Another great benefit of being involved in one of BGSU’s over 300 student organizations is you can do something that can really make a difference.

Find something that interests you and promotes the greater good of society. Something that not only challenges you to be good and upright, but also challenges the world to do the same.

For those of you who have been involved in the past, there’s no need to tell you how beneficial participating in extra-curricular activities is. The experience speaks for itself.

And for those who want to be more involved or just need that extra push, here it is. Go out there and do some good! Academic, service-oriented and religious and spiritual organizations can help to provide that opportunity.

So go ahead, turn off “Full House,” and invest yourself in something good. It will be time well spent.

Send comments to Lauren Walter at [email protected]