Why You Should Get Involved in University

Thousands of students enter post secondary education each year, and for many of these individuals it’s both a very exciting and nerve-wracking time in their life. Often times, a large contributing factor to this anxiety is the unfamiliarity of other students on campus or in the future town you will be calling home. I too was one of these students. Everyone seemed to comfort me with the same words: “Just get involved, you’ll make tons of friends!” However, these words did not comfort me at all. Getting involved sounded easier said than done, and I was intimidated by the thought of even introducing myself to anyone.

Despite my hesitations, I registered myself for orientation week to begin “putting myself out there”. I will never forget the first day of O-Week when all of us arrived on campus; not only were all of the Ice Breakers excited to meet us, but everyone seemed passionate about the campus and school. As I was waiting to get my keys to what would be my home for the next eight months, I vividly remember being shocked by the amount of people that simply said “hi” to me. It was at that moment that it dawned on me that we were all in the very same position. We were all nervous. We were all scared. We were all excited. It was this realization that truly helped me to open up the rest of the week and put my hesitancies behind.

Fast forward past O-Week, and I was starting to get the hang of my schedule and making my way around campus, slowly gaining some more confidence. It was around this time that hiring opened for First Year Leadership programs. Though I did not fully understand what these programs were, I decided to take a chance and apply to the position of a Residence Community Representative. To my surprise, I was contacted shortly after to interview, and eventually was given the position! I was so nervous, but so grateful and over-the-moon excited. This was a huge confidence boost for me – it was the push I needed to become involved with other clubs and associations. I was amazed by the amount of options I had at my fingertips, I felt like there were almost too many to choose from! This just goes to show that you do not need to be an all-star athlete or artist to find involvements that are right for you.

Just over a year later, and I am just as involved (if not more) as I was in first year. Having switched programs (read my last article to hear how and why I switched my major), I joined a student’s association to meet new people and faculty in my program. In addition to this, I was also an Ice Breaker this year. Without the support of my Ice Breakers, I would not have had the confidence to step out of my comfort zone, and I wanted to be able to be this support for others. I learned so much from that experience and it is something I will always cherish. I have also become an executive member of Laurier Students for Literacy, which has pushed me to take on a leadership role even more than what I am used to, and I am loving it. Finally, I have been hired on to a job with the university using the skills I learned from my extracurriculars. Without the confidence and knowledge these involvements gave me, I truly do not think I would have branched out to apply to a job at the school.