How Getting Involved Saved My University Career

There is so much more to university than classes and academics. Obviously, the reason we are all here is ultimately to get a degree, but getting involved in something beyond the classroom will contribute to a well-rounded university experience, and if you’re like me, will make the difference between failing out and getting a degree.

In my first two years, I didn’t set myself up very well for getting involved at school beyond my classes and academic responsibilities. I lived in residence in my first year but didn’t take advantage of the amazing leadership opportunities available to me. I didn’t join any clubs, and most of my friends were either from my residence or from my classes. When I moved off campus with a few friends in my second year, my ties to campus began to grow weaker, and my grades suffered. As I began third year, my grades continued to plummet and my situation became even worse, as I didn’t live with other students and still wasn’t involved on campus.

Things started to turn around when I took a step to become involved in something unrelated to academics. I’ve benefited from it in so many unexpected ways, and here’s just a few of them.

I made friends outside of class

I seriously relate to this, as a shy girl… making friends does not always come easily!

Everyone needs people in their life. We weren’t meant to go through life alone, yet I was isolated until I got involved. I applied to be an editor for Her Campus part way through my third year, and was thrilled when I was accepted. I was suddenly a part of a community of really fun people who I became fast friends with. Friendships in the Laurier community outside of my classes were something missing from my life, and making my new Her Campus friends filled that void.

It got me out of my comfort zone

The game changer for my situation was in January of my third year, when I hit submit on my application to join the Department of Residence as a Don for the following academic year. I had no idea where it would take me, and the idea of taking on such a big leadership role sort of terrified me. That being said, I love my job as a Don, and it wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t gotten out of my comfort zone.

It helped me to focus on what was important to me

I was worried that being involved in other things would take my focus away from school, but it has had the opposite effect. Feeling like I have a place in the Laurier community has made me a happier, more productive, and more hard-working person. Being a part of things on campus beyond class gives me something fun to spend time on other than school, which actually started to increase my motivation to get my grades up again, too. I was able to buckle down and focus on the things I cared about, and reignite the passion I had for those things.

I learned about myself and grew as a person

Me too, Biebs. Me too.

Getting involved in Her Campus and being a Don has allowed me to learn and grow in ways I never imagined. I’ve learned how to be a leader, how to manage my time, and how to support my peers and the first-year students on my floor. I’ve also learned so much about my capabilities, my strengths, plus I’ve discovered new things that I’m passionate about. Two years ago, if you’d told me that I’d be a Don and a Her Campus writer, I’d never have believed it, yet here I am!

Take it from me, getting involved can really make a difference to your success as a university student, plus it’s super fun! There are literally hundreds of options at Laurier, so you’re almost guaranteed to find something that’s right for you. So go put yourself out there, you won’t regret it!