As fall quarter draws to a close, I’ve been reflecting on the ups and downs of my first ten weeks of college. The thing I’m overwhelmingly glad I did was to get involved in student organizations here on campus.
At OU, and at most other colleges, there are tons of student organizations to get involved with. I can say from firsthand experience that there is something for everyone. If you have an interest or a passion for something, there is almost certainly a club or an organization for it. On the rare chance that there isn’t, then the opportunity is always there to start a new organization.
Most college freshmen come onto campus not knowing very many people. While it’s possible to meet people in classes or in the dorms, student organizations are a great place to meet new friends. Usually if you’ve joined the same organization you have at least one common interest, and most certainly have something to talk about. Through participating in events, projects, or socials, you are able to get to know even more people.
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Aside from the social aspects, student organizations provide benefits for the future. Getting involved in something that pertains to your major, provides you with invaluable experience that can help you when you get out in the field or even try to get an internship. At OU, we have our own student run Public Relations firm. The firm provides free public relations support to the clients, and we the students get to work together on our public relations skills. It’s a win-win for both parties.
The real-life situations we are faced with in some student organizations are equipping us to better handle ourselves in the future. Having previous experience in an organization can also set you apart from the pack when applying for a job fresh out of college. If your resume says you’ve had three years experience in an organization relating to your field, you probably have an edge on another applicant who doesn’t have the same experience.
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Balancing the responsibilities of an organization with your course workload gives you yet another advantage. Being able to manage your time to accomplish all of your work to the best of your ability will be invaluable on the job. The more you can manage well, the more likely you are to move up the ladder and to become a great asset to your future employers.
Yet another benefit of joining student organizations is the potential to hold leadership positions. When you gain knowledge and experience, it’s natural to then take on the role of a leader. In my experience, you learn so much more when it becomes your job to teach or nurture someone else. Not only will holding leadership positions look good on your resume, it will also benefit you in your understanding of the subject.
Student organizations help out your social life, give you opportunities to gain real world experience, are a good thing to put on your resume, and can give you the edge when applying for jobs right out of college. Start to find out what organizations interest you now, so you can jump right in when the new quarter or semester begins.