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Tips for Getting Involved on Campus

two students look at a bulletin board to see volunteer opportunities


College isn’t only about taking classes and earning a degree. It’s also an opportunity for you to be a part of groups and programs while making friends, building your resume and making a difference in your community. Here are some tips for how to get involved on campus.

Start When You Want

It might seem like students join several groups the first week after moving into their dorms, but you’ll have plenty of time to join student groups throughout your first semester. Figure out when student organization fairs are scheduled and research groups you’re interested in joining. Even if you don’t join during your first month on campus, you’ll still have plenty of time to get involved during your college years.

Go Slowly

When you do decide to get more involved in extracurriculars, it’s better to start slow than try several at once. Remember, doing well in your classes should be your top priority, so piling on a ton of new responsibilities in a short period is a way to lose focus and feel overwhelmed. Consider each organization’s expected time commitment and slowly increase your involvement.

Explore Outside Your Major

As comfortable as it is to stick to clubs related to your major, college is a great time to try new things. Join an obscure club, intramural sports team or activity you always wanted to try. Giving different activities a chance can help you realize new passions and rule out activities you don’t like.

If you’re going to college, you probably heard of sororities and fraternities. Greek life isn’t for everybody, but if you’re curious, figure out which chapter fits your personal values. Do research and meet as many members of each chapter as you can to avoid affiliating yourself with an organization you don’t like.

Don’t Abandon It

It’s important to be well-rounded in college, but keeping a focus on your major never hurts. If you’re a journalism major, write for a campus publication. If you’re a theater major, try out for a play. If you’re an engineer, volunteer at a lab or help with a professor’s research.

Getting involved in extracurriculars that pertain to your major is a surefire way to form beneficial relationships with faculty and peers. Additionally, supplementing your resume with participation in extracurriculars related to your major shows your focus and drive to succeed in a given field.

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