We’ve all heard the cliché that college is a time to find yourself. But what does that really mean, and where exactly did your “self” go?
The next four years are a time for you to find out what you want to do with your life in your post-college years. You take classes to grow in your knowledge of the field you’d like to enter. But college is more than just earning credits towards your degree.
A well-rounded college experience also includes community service and extracurricular activities to help you figure out what you’re passionate about. Make no mistake — this isn’t just a “good thing to do” in general. This is actually a major way in which you will discover what you really want to do in life!
Here are three reasons why it’s important to get involved doing community service and participating in extracurricular activities in college.
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Community service is an opportunity to give back and make a difference
Whether you’re volunteering at a soup kitchen or visiting a retirement home, community service helps you understand the needs of your community and how you can affect it. It can also push you out of your comfort zone and make you become more grateful. Often, we don’t realize how much we have and how lucky we are until we help those who are less fortunate. Community service teaches you how to be humble and serve others.
Extracurricular activities make transitioning to college easier
The transition from high school to college can be difficult, but it’s much better when you surround yourself with peers who are going through or have gone through that very same transition. In adjusting to your new home away from home, it’s essential to form friendships and have fun in your spare time. Participating in extracurriculars is the way in which you will more likely meet those like-minded peers and build those friendships. For instance, at Marymount, two popular extracurricular activities for freshman students are being part of the Student Government Association (SGA) and the Saints’ Center for Service.
Extracurricular activities also serve as a way to expand your network. You may have heard that 85 percent of all jobs are landed through networking, making networking an important aspect of your college career. As you interact with people through various clubs, organizations and university groups, other people will start to see your natural skills and passions. This can often lead to internship and job opportunities that group leaders, faculty or alumni offer you because they “rubbed elbows” with you through extracurricular activities.
Community service and extracurricular activities provide real world experience
For any internship or job that you apply to, it’s important to have hands-on experience that is outside the classroom. Community service and extracurricular activities are an opportunity to build your college resume and set yourself apart. Beyond the resume, many outside organizations interact with student-led clubs and community service groups, and those organizations can be a gateway to getting into the real world and solving problems outside the university bubble.
Getting real world experience in college matters, so look at your school’s list of active clubs and organizations, find a few that you’d like to explore and attend their general interest meetings. You never know what’ll come out of it — you may find a cause that you’re passionate about or meet your next mentor.
Unique options to make a difference at Marymount University
At Marymount University, our students are encouraged to get involved in a variety of ways — from cultural clubs and organizations to the Office of Leadership and Learning, and more. Here is a list of some of the active clubs and organizations to give you an idea of the different options we offer students:
- African Caribbean Student Association (ACSA)
- American Medical Student Association, Marymount Chapter
- Association for Campus Events (ACE)
- Black Student Alliance (BSA)
- Blue Crew
- Campus Crusade for Christ (CRU)
- Cheer Team
- Co-Curricular Council
- Commuter Activities Board
- Dance Team
- Fashion Club
- Film Club
- Full Spectrum
- International Affairs Society (IAS)
- International Club
- Ladies Inspiring Strength for Tomorrow (L.I.S.T.)
- Latino Student Association
- Marymount Actors Guild (MAG)
- Respect Life Club
- Saudi Student Association
- Science Club
- South Asian Society (SAS)
- Student Government Association (SGA)
- Student Nursing Association (SNA)
And if you can’t find the right club for you, then you can even form a new student organization. You can surely find a way to get connected to campus. Getting involved in community service and extracurricular activities is not only important for your college career, but will also help you explore fields that you’d like to pursue later down the road. Staying involved will help set you up for an exciting future!
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