getting involved
Getting involved on campus is a great way to network and meet friends, but it's important to keep your schedule manageable. (Image via Unsplash)
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getting involved

Don’t just look for things to stick on your resume.

Being a member of an organization on your college campus might seem like the perfect opportunity to meet new people and network. However, you mustn’t bite off more than you can chew when actively participating in campus events. It is essential to know the advantages and disadvantages of getting involved on campus beforehand.

Tia Garner is a junior at Alabama Agricultural & Mechanical University (A.A.M.U.). On Sept. 3, Garner sat down in an interview to discuss how her notable campus involvement has shaped the student’s college experience.

At the beginning of the interview, Garner talked about what drove her to pursue a position in several A.A.M.U. organizations.

“I have always been active. In high school, I played soccer, theater and served in the S.G.A. (Student Government Association). I honestly hate staying still,” said Garner.

Garner further explained that her active involvement on campus is due to her desire to help people and make things better.

“Why leave something the way you found it when you can add something to it? I think that’s amazing,” Garner claimed.

There are plenty of advantages to getting involved on campus. Garner then expounded on how she had met a lot of people who are willing to help further her pursuits of sports management and marketing.

Garner holds several positions on the campus of A.A.M.U. As a freshman, Garner was elected as the S.G.A. Freshman Senator and is currently serving her second year as its constitutional advisor. Garner is also the public relations specialist for the American Association of University Woman, an organization that advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research.

Moreover, Garner is also a public relations specialist for the Yes You’re Worth It ministry organization.

At the beginning of her college years, the young leader was also an active member of the university’s sports management club and its marketing club. Lastly, Garner is the vice-president of New W.A.V.E. elites, an off-campus organization founded by A.A.M.U. student Erin Blue.

Although the positions are demanding, Garner explains that her love for planning, organizing and marketing is what keeps her motivated.

In Garner’s opinion, getting involved on campus can only enhance the college experience while adequately preparing you for life after graduation. Being active on campus is also a great way to meet new people and create long-lasting friendships.

“I’m so happy that I recognize most of my class when I see them,” Garner says.

Another benefit of getting involved is the networking opportunities. In fact, Garner’s access to networking opportunities landed the honors scholar an internship in the A.A.M.U.’s marketing department.

The fast-paced student’s instrumental positions also placed her with the right people in regards to financial aid trouble. “Because of networking, I knew who to speak with and got an $800 housing grant,” said the 20-year-old student.

Throughout the interview, Garner spoke on her gratefulness for all the opportunities she has received from being involved in several extracurricular activities.

By being faithfully active in several campus organizations, Garner is continually increasing her chances of leaving an impactful legacy on the campus of A.A.M.U.

“I encourage everyone to get involved,” says the soon-to-be sports marketing executive.

While sharing her experience, Garner gave advice to people who want to participate in extracurricular activities.

“I encourage everyone to get involved but don’t bite off more than you can chew. I hate people who get involved just to put it on a resume,” Garner stated. The reason Garner is victorious in her collegiate endeavors is because she genuinely loves leaving an impact on others.

Garner went more in-depth into her opinion regarding a student’s reason behind getting involved. “If you are joining an organization for the sake of clout, you are doing it for the wrong reasons,” Garner stated.  Before deciding to join an organization, it is essential to know why you want to get involved. Make sure that your goals align with your interest instead of pursuing popularity.

Clout is a term used to define popularity or lack thereof. Garner is simply stating that the desire to be popular will cause you to “half-a—” your job in an organization. More importantly, if you’re getting involved for the simple fact of filling up your resume, then joining a club isn’t the best idea. The lack of dedication can have a negative drawback on not only the organization but the entire campus.

Garner also shared what to consider when choosing which campus organization to join. “First I would ask their major, likes, dislikes and then refer them to the right person,” Garner explained.

The advantages of getting involved on campus are endless; however, it essential to understand that everything is not as easygoing as it seems.

When Garner shared a list of her daily responsibilities, she failed to mention time for necessities such as sleep and eating. “I wrote down the number of hours each project took me and realized it was over 24 hours,” Garner described. It can be hard to make time for yourself when trying to meet several obligations.

Before choosing to get involved on campus, make sure that you can make time for your personal needs.

Moreover, the workload, along with course assignments, will be more stressful than the average student’s. Getting involved on campus can draw attention away from your course studies. You might get distracted by the fun of being a member of a club that you slack off in your academics.

Of course, it is possible to receive high marks in your classes while still succeeding in extracurricular activities as long as you know how to manage your time and prioritize the critical tasks. Be sure to consider this when signing up to join an organization.

Additionally, the love for an organization should be the sole reason for joining. Being active on campus should never seem like a job.

Joining campus organizations should not feel like work because it should be something that you genuinely love. The clubs are not created to stress you out — the professors do that enough. Campus clubs are designed to give students an outlet to express their talents, personality and meet like-minded individuals.

If you find a networking opportunity along the way, even better! However, the best way to enjoy extracurricular activities is to participate in something because you love what the organization stands for. Don’t join something for what it can do for you. Get involved for the sake of bettering your school and its organization.

While some might decide against it, getting involved on campus might be the perfect way for some students to have a fantastic college experience. After considering both the dedication necessary for an organization to prosper and other priorities students have to tackle, there is only one simple question. Are you in or out?

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