Campus Community: Where do you fit in?
Now I am sure you have some very good reasons why you haven’t been more involved on campus. Perhaps some of these will ring a bell. Excuse 1: I would but I just have too much school work, Excuse 2: I’m not very athletic, what else to do is there besides sports? Excuse 3: I don’t know anyone in the group(s) I am interested in?
The excuse that resonated the most with me when I was in college, was the last one. I always felt outgoing and comfortable around friends, but when it came time to introduce myself to a group of strangers suddenly my fear and shyness took over. My initial coping mechanism was to come up with excuses why I didn’t wanted join something as a means to hide the root issue. What helped me get over the anxiety was to be honest with myself and my friends. Sometimes you just need a little push or encouragement from a bestie to help get past that initial barrier.
I remember when I found out about my college’s volunteer program. I was itching to be a part of the community, but didn’t know anyone else who wanted to join. After setting up a meeting with the volunteer coordinator on campus, I felt more at ease and she was able to help me find a placement that was the right fit. My conscious decision to take the first step, provided me with a new opportunity to tutor a child at a local family shelter.
Another way to put your goals into action is to make a timeline for yourself. With the new year coming up, why not make a new year’s resolution to be more involved on campus? Try making a list of your top 10 goals and check back monthly on your progress.
Not sure you know what is available on campus? Check your campus’ student affairs office for a list on what is currently offered. If you’re not interested in what is available, why not start your own group? Most schools encourage this type of leadership and will provide funding when you register the group.
Another way to get involved, is to join a fraternity/sorority. These organizations are founded on a variety of principles including, social, professional, academic, and service. Fraternities and sororities are great in that they allow you to instantly feel part of a community. This type of cohesion can help you grow in confidence as you surround yourself with people who share similar vales and passions.
One resource that my student affairs had on my campus was a “fun fund”. This was opportunity for groups of students to present a budget plan for something they wanted the college to fund. This is an awesome way to bring students together to experience something that may not have been attainable otherwise. Find out if your school has one, and if not why not suggest one?
College has enough stresses, don’t let your social life become one of them!
For more on student activities, check this out.
Nicole Santarsiero is a team member at College Success Arizona. Nicole has a Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish and Religious Studies from Stonehill College in Massachusetts, and a Master of Business Administration (MBA), from the University of Massachusetts.