College can be a big adjustment for some people. It can feel overwhelming to be in a brand new location surrounded by people you’ve never seen before. I remember how I felt when I first got to JMU. I was an excited first year that was looking to make friends and get as involved as possible! JMU offers many opportunities to get involved, as there is more to the college experience than just sitting in a classroom. There are clubs and organizations for just about anything you can think of. Getting involved is a crucial part of the college experience, and here are some reasons why!
1. It helps students to build a community around them:
I am immensely grateful for the community of people I have surrounded myself with. Currently, I’m a member of Unaccompanied, JMU’s latest upper voices a cappella group, and this is where I’ve found some of my closest friends. Some of the people in my group are individuals that I would’ve never normally surrounded myself with, had it not been for our shared love of singing. The community of people in a cappella are some of the most supportive people I know, and it has played a huge role in my overall college experience.
2. It allows students to discover their passions and strengths:
As someone who has gotten extremely involved in their campus organization, I can say first hand that my organization single handedly helped me to discover what I’m passionate about. I am a member of Unaccompanied’s executive board as the public relations coordinator and social chair. Over the past two years, I’ve come to realize that this is something I really enjoy, and it was because of this role that I decided to change my major to Communication Studies!
3. It’s a great resume builder:
Building a resume can be one of the most stressful parts of the job application process, so it’s helpful to add any organizational experience to it! Because of the work I’ve done for Unaccompanied, this has become a huge part of my resume. While it primarily shows work that correlates to the types of jobs I’ve been searching for, it also shows that I was involved throughout my time as a college student.
Getting involved is one of the biggest things I will recommend to students. Being part of an on-campus organization has given me so much, from experience to friendships to memories that will last a lifetime.