The first year of college can be without a doubt one of the greatest years of your life, yet at the same time it comes with many changes. For many students it is the first time away from home, and they have to learn to independently cope with many sudden changes. For others it may be a liberating and thrilling experience.
At the start of every semester, schools hold events to promote student involvement and advertise for different organizations. Many colleges have organization fairs or school year kickoff functions that aid in helping first-year students get settled into their new surroundings. I’d like to share some ideas that can help with having a balanced first year and possibly even provide you with important tools to carry you through college and into the working world.
College campuses are overflowing with organizations and things for students to get involved in, something particularly welcoming to a freshman. One of the great things about the freshman year is that every other first-year student is looking for friends, organizations, events, and connections on campus too. So it’s the best time to get out of your shell and meet new people or try new things along with everyone else. By getting involved in a few groups or organizations, not only are you meeting people, but also boosting your resume with a splash of color. Just like high school students need to show involvement and well-roundness when applying to universities, future employers want to see that you’ve been engaged while in college.
One thing that I personally found very interesting about college was the vast array of different groups on campus. From academic groups like English club or debate club to fun groups like adventure club, running club, or even underwater hockey. Many of these organizations are started by fellow students who enjoy these activities and realize others on campus do too! Many universities also have Greek life including social, service, and honors sororities and fraternities. Greek life is a wonderful way to get involved and connected through social, service, and athletics events held in each group. During freshman year, it is not a bad idea to try out different groups and see where you best fit.
Typically after a few semesters, students will find one or two organizations that really fit them or their major, and then spend more time with that particular group. The first semester or year of college, however, is a prime time to try different things and find your niche. There is something for everyone’s personality, especially at huge universities. But it is all about putting yourself out there and making the effort to make your college years as enjoyable as possible. Another benefit to putting yourself out there and joining a few campus groups is it will help with time management. By being involved, you will begin to learn how to schedule yourself and your time wisely, which is something you need to know how to do in the business world too.
I should take a side-bar moment to emphasize balance here. One potential error for a new college student is to be overly timid about jumping in and getting engaged on campus. But if getting involved is not a challenge for you, remember not to overdo it. Academics are of course your first priority. You have at least 4 years to enjoy the full college experience – so pace yourself so you’ll be able to remain in college for the full 4 years to do so! Your grades will determine whether or not you are able to return to college for a new year, but your level of involvement and engagement might determine whether or not you want to. Remember college is a new start and wonderful season of life to try new things, get to know new people and make memories. Don’t be shy when it comes to finding ways to get involved around campus. From academically enhancing groups to fun and exciting clubs, enjoy being the best you, you can be for this new chapter of your life!