Transitioning into college life is a new experience for many at the start of each new school year. If you are a first-timer fresh out of high school and plan to take advantage of on-campus living, you’ll likely get invitations for social events and will be among the first to know of the latest offerings. It’s possible that you may fall under the category of students who commute back and forth solely to take classes and then go back home. Regardless of your living situation, there are several ways you can be involved in campus life to make the most out of your college experience

Judging by what you may see in the media, being involved in campus life might seem like nothing but a distraction, though you will discover this is not entirely true. These events are often portrayed as time-consuming with the primary focus on recreation instead of academics. However, contrary to what some might believe, being involved also has many potential advantages including:

  • Reducing stress
  • An opportunity to make friends
  • Increased chances of learning about future events
  • The potential for networking with future colleagues and other professionals
  • Real-world experience

Athletic Events

When you sit in the stands to cheer your school’s teams on, pep band blaring, cheerleaders dancing, and fans decked out in gear from end zone athletics inc in the background, you will discover how easy it can be to feed off the energy. If you’re not already an athlete for one of the sports your school may offer, there are still other ways to get involved. Consider being part of the support staff for the teams, sell concessions, help with promotions such as arranging for end zone athletics merchandise to help raise funds for your school.

Fraternities and Sororities

Joining a fraternity or sorority can be a big investment, financially and timewise, but the benefits of joining one may outweigh the challenges. Joining these types of organizations can lead to lifelong friendship as well as networking opportunities with both current and past members. While it’s no secret that fraternities and sororities know how to throw entertaining social events, they are also known for using their influence for good causes such as community service and philanthropy. Depending on your school, you will have a varying number of options to choose from. Take your time and find one that lines up best with your values and lifestyle.

Working on Campus

While work and play don’t typically go hand in hand, finding work on campus can be helpful. Whether you find work in an office, student services, bookstore, or a retail shop, this can be a great opportunity to meet and socialize with more students who will likely be your co-workers, classmates, and customers all at the same time. As a bonus to a steady paycheck, you can look forward to work experience to add to your resume. Possible employee discounts are likely to be a welcome perk for students on a budget as well.

Volunteer Work

When you’ve got piles of homework and other obligations, the thought of doing volunteer work may easily slip through the cracks. However, if you’re looking to meet like-minded individuals and feel like you’re making a difference, volunteer work can be a great avenue to explore. While making new friends and working towards a cause you are passionate about, you may even appreciate how volunteer work can help to make your resume stand out.

While many well-meaning students believe that focusing only on academics will be the most direct path to success, they may forget that a big part of the college experience involves learning to make connections and work with others. These are real-world skills that can help lead you to success even well after graduation.