For many of us, the transition from high school to college was anything but easy. Even now, I still haven’t completely adjusted. But, there are ways to facilitate the shift, one being getting involved. Back in high school, I was extremely involved. I was on the executive board of many clubs and honor societies, participated in many extracurricular activities and even worked in the school office over the summers. Needless to say, transitioning from spending every waking moment being a busy bee to having lots free time was definitely quite a change.
However, this spring, I made it my mission to acquire the chaotic schedule I used to thrive on. I auditioned, interviewed and joined WUFT Noticias (WUFT News’ Spanish news program), joined the marketing team for the Hispanic-Latinx Student Assembly and became a features writer for Her Campus UFL. On top of this, I’m also taking 16 credits – this has been a huge jump. I have a lot on my plate, but you don’t have to go to the extremes that I did. If you are looking for something to aid your transition to college, these are my personal reasons as to why becoming involved (or more involved) on campus is something you should look into.
Being involved creates a sense of community
Since most of us aren’t Gainesville natives and didn’t come here with our entire squad, we tend to get a bit lonely. Joining a club or having some kind of on-campus involvement gives you a supportive community that can help you further your academic career. It can also be difficult to find a group of friends in college when everyone is doing their own thing. By getting involved, you are almost forced to spend time with the same group of people often throughout the semester. It unintentionally gives you a group of friends, whether for the moment or the next four years.
Sometimes being busy helps us do better
This doesn’t apply to everyone, but for me, having loads of work and being under extreme pressure is when I’m most productive. By becoming involved, you are forced to budget your time wisely. Not having as much free time anymore requires you to find time for those things that you normally wouldn’t have to make time for (i.e. groceries, cleaning, washing clothes), as well as making time for relaxation and enjoyment. This in itself is a beneficial attribute to begin building as one of the most universal things that many employers look for in prospective candidates is time management skills.
Involvement helps enhance your strengths and find your passion
College is a time for new beginnings. You are able to reinvent yourself, figure out your strengths and use them to find what you are passionate about. The same goes for what you dislike. Perhaps you are conflicted with your major. Joining a club within such field can help you decide whether or not you are truly passionate about it. You may join a club in the area of study you swore you were meant to be part of since you were little and realize that you hate it, and there is no way you could spend the rest of your life doing that thing. Getting involved early helps you figure these things out quickly so that you can figure out where exactly you are meant to be.
You can add it to your resume
This, of course, is a major plus. It is extremely important that you become involved not only in things that you love, but also in things that will help you gain valuable skills in the field you plan to work in. While showing rigor in any type of co-curricular activity is extremely important, it is even more impressive if you are using your time outside of the classroom to participate in organizations that add to your skill set in your desired industry. It is never too early to begin building your resume and creating that personal image that you will be using later on in the work force.
I know the transition to college is very difficult to most. But finding a useful and meaningful way to use your time can help you become more accustomed to the campus environment. For a list of different ways you can get involved on the UF campus, feel free to check out UF’s student involvement website.