How to Get Involved and Stay Motivated During Yet Another Semester Affected by COVID-19

Welcome to the spring semester, where once again, we find ourselves losing yet another term to COVID-19. Wichita State’s policies and procedures regarding campus events remain in effect, meaning you can expect a lot of your favorite events to be offered exclusively virtually, if even at all. While this may come as no surprise given the current circumstances, I think it’s safe to say that many of us are still bummed. College is said to be the “best years of our lives.” It’s supposed to be the place where we experience new things, meet new people, make those friendships that last a lifetime, and all that jazz; but, whoever said all that probably did not anticipate a pandemic in the mix. However, life goes on, we continue our studies, and try to make the best of what we have got to work with. While we may have lucked out on all the fun events on campus, there are still ways to get involved, meet new people, and make those connections within the community! Here are just a few…

Find unique opportunities, virtual events, student organizations, and campus news on ShockerSync!

        This is a great way to still feel connected to other students and the university. You can search for events and organizations geared towards your interests, and while it may not look the same as in years past, they still offer some great virtual informationals and meetings that can give you some insight into what it’s all about! You can also stay in the know with all their unique opportunities and their campus news articles all on that same site!

Further your career by diving into the job/internship search!

        What better way to stay motivated than to keep working towards your academic and career goals! It is never a bad idea to keep that resume handy and even spice it up a bit! Here are some great platforms to get you started on your search:

         Generation Hired

         The way it works is you set up your profile, then sit back while employers reach out to you with their interest. If the interest is mutual, then Generation Hired puts you in touch directly with the employer to get the process started! What sets this platform apart from the others is that it is a newly established job and internship-seeking platform that is geared specifically toward college students and recent graduates. You can set up your free profile to search for available jobs and internships, check out which companies and employers are hiring, even attend free workshops and webinars!

         Handshake

         This is another great platform for college students. Here, you can find out about jobs and internships, get the inside scoop on all the new jobs and events, and even connect with alumni and any companies and organizations that spark your interest! Handshake works to ensure that everyone has equal access to meaningful careers.

         LinkedIn

         One of the most popular social networking platforms, LinkedIn is definitely another great place to start getting exposure with other professionals! You can upload your resume for all hiring companies to see, post updates and interact with others, even display others’ endorsements and recommendations on your behalf-- it’s almost like Facebook, but make it ~professional~

Check out volunteer opportunities and find ways to serve your community!

         This is a great way to get involved with the greater community and feel in touch with a sense of social belonging! Volunteering allows you to learn more about organizations, different causes, potential interests and career paths, even can serve as a great resume builder. Now more than ever, we must choose kindness and compassion in the face of difficulties and unforeseen circumstances. Here are some great causes and places to start:

         Search for causes and organizations that speak to you

         One really great website is VolunteerMatch where you can search based on your location and based on your interests and career path! You can choose to search for opportunities in areas like advocacy and human rights, children and youth, community work, education and literacy, health and medicine, and even with animals just to name a few! Interested in checking out where you can volunteer around Wichita? Check out 360Wichita’s search and Volunteer Kansas!

         Consider donating to the American Red Cross

         One of the humanitarian leaders in providing national assistance and relief, the Red Cross is always accepting donations to further their cause! This can look like stopping by a blood drive, hosting one of your own, or donating monetarily through their website. Despite all the uncertainties and unrest of the current pandemic, they continue their work in providing life-saving services for all. 

         Serve your community by donating to local food banks and pantries

         Whether it be donating items or your time, these services are always accepting efforts towards their cause. Just a simple Google search can direct you to nearby locations and items that they accept. One notable cause is the ICT Community Fridge Project, a group dedicated to fighting food insecurity within our own community. You can check out their information, guidelines, and updates on their Facebook and Instagram!