Columnist offers advice for getting involved on campus

Hunter Huffman and Hunter Huffman

At its core, college is academic prep for a future career including lectures, homework and exams; the whole nine yards. However, there’s so much more to it outside the classroom.

Getting involved at BGSU presents students with an opportunity to expand the basic college experience into their own. There are various extracurriculars to choose from the very first semester, all based upon a person’s different hobbies and passions. With the vast amount, however, it’s surely not easy to immediately approach.

During my first year at college, I found various ways to get involved through extracurriculars and volunteer work alike. However, I did experience some pressure in doing so. With my own experience in mind, here’s five tips to getting engaged at BGSU that I continue to utilize.

 

1. Take it easy.

While it’s certainly important to get yourself involved, it’s also a good idea to take it easy. At the beginning of the semester, take some time to adjust to your new life on campus. From settling into your dorm, to learning to get around and figuring out your schedule, there’s several parts of your day-to-day routine that should be managed; use your first semester to manage these tasks. You don’t need to be instantly involved in something the moment you step onto campus! Take some time to explore around.

 

2.   Weigh your interests.

While adjusting to college life, start considering how you’d like to get involved. Perhaps you’re looking to work in groups within your major? Maybe you have a long-time interest that you’d like to keep present in your life, or you’re thinking about learning something new? Do you want to give back to the community, pursue a cause or just meet some new people? Brainstorm some of these interests and keep them in mind.

 

3.   Take a look around.

Once you’ve got some ideas, start doing research! While it’s good to find involvement for the benefit of your major, feel free to seek programs outside of it to create a healthy balance between core academics and personal interests.

 

There’s plenty of resources to search for the dozens-upon-dozens of organizations available at BGSU:

  • BGSU.edu – The school’s website features an abundance of guides and info to getting involved. Under the “Campus Activities” page, there’s a list of engaging activities, upcoming events and more! There are also organizations listed under several areas of study. One of my personal favorites is the “Bucket List” page; can you check everything off before college is over?

  • bgsu.precense.io/organizations – This site is a database of every organization available at BGSU, allowing you to sort them by categories and learn more about each. You can find meeting locations and time as well as contact information, too!

  • Social media – There are several social media pages for BGSU-involved organizations. Some include the school’s own pages, such as BGSU Campus Activities, the University Activity Organization (UAO), and other accounts, which can be found on BGSU’s social media directory. Individual pages for other student-led organizations can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well.

  • Campus Fest – This is an organization fair that hosts various places to get involved on campus. More on this a little later!

 

4.    Make some new connections.

If you’ve found any organizations or events you’d be interested in, don’t be afraid to reach out! Look for any contact info associated with the group and express your interest! A great place to explore new opportunities while meeting BGSU leadership is at Campus Fest. As described by BGSU’s website, the event brings together over 300 organizations, BGSU offices and community groups to present themselves, while seeking students interested in getting involved!

Personally, Campus Fest introduced me to several organizations of my interest. I was able to communicate with the groups’ leadership and got the opportunity to sit in on their meetings; this led me to get involved with many of them! Plus, I got some free shirts and other fun stuff from the fest. 

Visiting Campus Fest is number four on the BGSU Bucket List, so give it a look! It’s happening Sept. 4 from 1-5 p.m. around campus.

 

5.    Stick to it, but don’t overwhelm yourself.

Being involved on campus, whether you’re part of an organization, participating in campus proceedings or participating in another way, is highly fulfilling and beneficial! Not only does it allow you to create some awesome memories, expand your social circle and develop beneficial skills and values, it can also be a great addition to your resume for the future. Putting the extra effort forward through involvement is a significant display of integrity and dedication to potential employers.

Regardless of whether your involvement pertains to your career or not, it’s essential to give it your all. That might seem like common advice, but it’s amplified when it comes to extracurriculars; they represent some of the first independent decisions you make within your adulthood, and the way you conduct yourself in your involvement can be positive or negative precursors to your prospects. When you commit to a group or event, contribute with effective efforts.

It is also important for your involvement to coincide with your academic schedule. You don’t want to commit to more than you’re able to do; maintaining good academic standing, and most importantly, a positive mental state, should always be priorities! Talk to an academic adviser if you’re conflicted about your schedule.

 

 

Quiz answers: 

1. Take it easy

2. BGSU’s website, Presence, social media and Campus Fest

3. Trick question! Campus Fest is Sept. 4 all over BGSU’s campus.

4. False!