As soon as you enter the maze of tables at Clubsfest, you know it won’t be easy getting out. You’re surrounded by a sea of people ambling and shuffling along slowly as they investigate the signs, banners and poster boards of nearly every group on campus. Every five feet, someone from a table wants to talk with you in the hope of recruiting you to their club. You smile and exchange pleasantries with them, but you’re not sure you have the time this year to commit to joining a campus club.
As an undergraduate student, there are a lot of voices clamoring for your time. You know you have to go to class, complete your assignments and readings and study for tests. Eating, sleeping and socializing with friends could easily take up the rest of your time. In the sea of humanity you now find yourself in, jostling and being jostled from every side, you might be wondering if it’s worth it to add more commitments to your already busy schedule.
So is it worth it to join a campus club or group?
Simply put, the answer is yes. When you join a group or a club, you join into a community with similarly-minded students who can help you grow and develop. Rather than hindering your ability to graduate, joining a campus group will enhance your skills and personality in ways that will help you long after you graduate. If you’re looking to get involved in a campus group, here are five benefits you can expect:
1. Meeting new people
Likely the most obvious benefit, joining a new group on campus gives you an opportunity to meet new people. While the people you meet in this group probably have similar interests and goals, chances are they’ll also be a diverse group, with members from different cultures and countries. As you interact with and get to know them better through shared activities, you’ll form bonds together that would not otherwise happen in an academic setting. The diversity in the groups you’re a part of will also teach you about different cultures and how certain people respond and react to different situations.
2. Networking opportunities
Similar to meeting new people is networking, a much more intentional and focused approach than simply “hanging out”. Whichever group(s) or club(s) you decide to join, chances are they will likely be related to the kind of job you want to get after graduation. Being part of a group allows you the opportunity to meet and build relationships with connected alumni, professionals and upper-year students in formal and informal settings. These times together offer the chance to learn, ask questions and be teachable, which may help you land a job when you leave school.
3. Learn new skills
No matter what group or club you join, being part of one sets up numerous opportunities for you to grow in a variety of “soft skills,” ones you learn more through experience than in the classroom. In committing yourself to a group, you learn time management and organizational skills as you balance school and extra-curricular activities. When you join the group’s executive team, your leadership, communication and teamwork skills will grow as you figure out problems together and help mold the group into the best it can become. All of these skills, and the confidence you gain through mastering them, will serve you invaluably for the rest of your life.
4. Break from school
During your time as a student, it’s important to concentrate on your schoolwork and learn as much as you can in the time it takes to graduate. Equally as important is giving yourself a chance to relax and disengage from schoolwork so you can come back to it refreshed. Participating in campus groups and socializing with like-minded people gives you an opportunity to de-stress and exercise your brain in different ways. This combination between your academic and social lives allows you to focus on school, but also to build friendships you may carry on well into the rest of your life.
5. Grow as a person and help others do the same
When you join a group like a Navigator student group, you enter into a community of people who are ready to help you grow in your personal and spiritual life. That’s what we’re here for. As you become more involved in the community and begin developing friendships, you will likely find yourself connecting with individuals who want to help you grow and mature as you journey through school. These people will encourage and challenge you, teaching and showing you how to grow in spiritual and personal maturity. Through their influence, you will be equipped to help and encourage others as you journey with them on their spiritual journey.