Five great tips for getting involved on campus

June 25, 2012

College campuses are busy places, and as a freshman eager to get involved, it can be hard to know where to start. With so many options, how do you whittle down your choices - and where do you even go to become involved? Maybe you want a job working at the library, maybe you really want to plan a party, perhaps you have a factory-farm-free food initiative you want to push or maybe you really just want to be the campus mayor - that friendly guy or gal who knows everyone by name.

You'll need to start somewhere on your path to campus leadership or involvement. Consider these tips for college students.

1. Get involved with student life. Whether it's under the title Student Activity Board or Campus Life, these are the folks who plan your nightly and weekend entertainment, from party theme and décor to getting in contact with great local and famous musicians and bands who come and play. If you've got a knack for this sort of thing, you'd make a great part of the student life team.

2. Sign up or get a job with admissions doing campus tours. This can be a great way to make a buck or volunteer and get to know a bit more about your campus. As well as you think you understand your school within your first year, you'll be surprised to find how that knowledge deepens as you share your experience and the campus history with prospective students.

3. Run for a position in student government. Sure, politics can be messy, but no one says you have to run for student body president. Find a position with some leverage, particularly in your discipline, and you might find it's a good way to get to know like-minded students and professors.

4. Get involved with local events. Don't limit yourself to the campus itself - your school has reach beyond its borders, and getting to know your surroundings, whether it's a bustling metropolis or a quiet town, is a key part of the college experience. In four years you'll be out in that real world.

5. Remember to take time for yourself. It's easy to get wrapped up in school events, but don't forget your academics - and just as importantly, don't forget to take time to relax, go for a walk or just take a nap. College is a social experience - all the more reason you'll need some time for yourself.

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