How to get involved, and STAY involved in college
Of course we go to college to learn. Most of us know, or we soon discover, that the bar is set much higher for our academic work in college than it was in high school. We spend a lot more time studying and doing homework in college than we were used to, and a lot more is expected of us now that we’re full-blown adults.
On top of that, we’re supposed to simultaneously prepare ourselves for the real world in just four (very) short years. How are we supposed to prepare ourselves for the future while we’re doing all this other stuff? The answer is to get involved! In the three years I now have under my belt at Mizzou, I quickly learned the best way to prepare for the real world is to get involved in whatever programs or activities I can get my hands on.
Whether it’s Greek life, student government, Freshman Interest Groups or residence halls, these are just some of the many organizations Mizzou has for students. But with over 700 different organizations on campus, how do you know which ones are right for you? Don’t worry, we’re here to help! Here’s a few questions you should ask yourself.
1. What do you want most out of your college experience?
Maybe you’re just looking to make new friends in college. Greek life could be the right organization for you. Being a part of a sorority or fraternity puts you in touch with so many new people you may not get an opportunity to meet otherwise.
Or maybe you’re just looking to enhance your resume for the future. An academic group or student council might be the right organization for you. This gives you a chance to get more involved with your school work, and make a name for yourself at Mizzou.
Or you might just be looking for something new. There are hundreds of organizations about different cultures and fields of study, and they’re all welcoming to new members. From agriculture clubs all the way to Tae Kwon Doe clubs, there are so many things that these organizations have to offer if you’re willing to step out of your comfort zone.
“Involvement at Mizzou is all about stepping outside your comfort zone and having new experiences. Getting involved exposes students to the importance of diversity and inclusivity, self-exploration and leadership. Finding an organization you click with will give you not only exciting opportunities, but you will meet incredible people on campus.”
— Jessica Albright
Senior Business Student, Major Supervisor at MU Career Center
2. What interests you?
You want to make sure you’re getting involved with something you take an interest in. If you’ve always wanted to play lacrosse but never had the opportunity to learn, or you’ve been meaning to join a book club, Mizzou has a group for almost everything. Whether it’s music, sports or Harry Potter, become a part of something that you will enjoy. Your college experience can be stressful, but it should also be fun.
“Getting involved at Mizzou is pretty simple, at least it was for me. I’ve always loved sports and I’m a huge nerd, so when a friend told me she was joining the quidditch team, I HAD to try it. What I ended up finding was a new sport and experience that I greatly enjoyed and people that I loved being around.”
— Dan Shapiro
1st Year Journalism Grad Student, Former Mizzou Quidditch Team President
3. What will you stick with?
College should be a time to making lasting connections with people and for you to explore your passions and interests. Make sure you join a organization you can see yourself being a part of long-term. You have the power to really make a difference at Mizzou; you should give yourself the opportunity to grow and change within your organizations and groups.
“Opportunities for engagement with peers in areas of mutual interest and enjoyment; contribute to the richness and diversity of campus life; facilitate social networking; and create opportunities for personal development” (Nolfi, 2010). Staying involved in a student organization for the duration of your college career means more exposure to these opportunities.”
— Kenna Cornelius
Coordinator of Student Organizations
The sheer number of opportunities in college can be overwhelming, but don’t worry! School seems to get a little smaller and less scary when you find your niche. So get out there and explore the possibilities that Mizzou has for you. You can browse all the organizations Mizzou has to offer at the Organization Research Group home page. Or if you don’t see an organization you were interested in, start your own!