Opinion: The importance of finding your niche on campus

The different ways to get involved on campus are endless. As we settle in and begin fall quarter, most of us have already visited the Student Involvement Fair and found at least one student organization that peaked our interest. Many of us have convinced ourselves that we just want to focus on school, or maybe we’re too nervous to join an organization alone. No matter your reasoning, as you’re debating on whether or not to attend that first club meeting, think about the following benefits of getting involved on campus.

The first and most obvious benefit of campus involvement is that you can make new friends. As a transfer student who moved to Tacoma not knowing anyone, I’ve been in that position. Wanting to get involved but also not wanting to go to campus events or club meetings alone; it can be nerve wracking. It’s important to remember that club leaders are actively thinking of ways to get new members and would love to have you as a member of their club.

Studies show that students who get involved on campus are more successful academically than those who are not involved. A recent study from California State University found that, over the course of four quarters, students involved in extracurricular activities consistently outperformed students not involved in extracurricular activities. This is in part due to the sense of belonging and attachment to one’s university that is developed through campus involvement. When students feel like they belong on campus, they are more likely to stay on campus to study, meet with their professors and participate in study groups.

Campus involvement also provides an opportunity to develop the “soft skills” many employers look for. Whether you’re interested in an academic club such as the Marketing Society, or an interest-based club like the Photography Club, they are all platforms for personal and professional development.

These clubs create opportunities for students to showcase their proficiency in time management, teamwork, and networking with students and staff who are passionate about similar things. Clubs and campus involvement are great for developing skills and experiences that students just don’t get in a classroom setting.

The reasons to get involved on campus are endless. This school year, don’t plan on going to class and heading straight home; get out and explore all the possibilities and opportunities UW Tacoma offers. With awareness of the benefits of getting involved, you can get as much out of your college experience as you put into it.

 

Alex is studying sustainable urban development. She loves going to events around Tacoma and telling people about them. Her goal is to use her degree to make cities more sustainable.

Alex Alderman

Alex is studying sustainable urban development. She loves going to events around Tacoma and telling people about them. Her goal is to use her degree to make cities more sustainable.