3 answers

How involved should I be in college?

Updated Porterville, California

I’m going to be graduating high school very soon and then entering college. I want to be able to be involved in college, but I want to know when too much is too much. #highschoolsenior #college #extracurriculars

3 answers

Danielle’s Answer

Updated Tallahassee, Florida

Hi Elizabeth!


Involvement in various organizations helps to shape your overall college experience and I highly recommend it! Greek life is typically at the top of most college students to do list as it is a great way to meet new friends, forge large and strong networks, and (lets face it) engage in some great social activities. However, this is not the only route one can take. I would encourage you to identify what type of career interests you have and join an organization that will add value to the academic portion of your college career. Sometimes these types of organizations will lend you more practical experience that can be applied to your future career as well as building your network.


As you venture into different activities and educational or social clubs, make sure you prioritize your school work first. If you complete your homework and studying first, you'll have time to set aside to engage in the clubs and organizations. College offers many variations of class schedules which allows you the opportunity to create as much free-time as you see fit. For example, after my sophomore year I found that having classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays worked best for me and my social interests. While I was in class all day on these two days, it freed up more weekdays and weekend time for me to complete assignments, hang with friends, volunteer on different projects, etc.


If you find that your grades are falling, you're having a hard time staying awake in class, or you miss several classes, it is probably a good idea to trim some extracurricular activities until you can refocus on the reason why you're in college in the first place. Once you have reexamined and realigned your priority, you can begin to add extracurricular activities back into your schedule one at a time.


Good luck on your college endeavors!


Danielle

Bryant’s Answer

Updated Menlo Park, California
Hi Elizabeth, I think it's great that you are already thinking about what steps you can take to be more involved and more successful in college. My advice to you is to be as involved as you can! College campuses can be amazing places to devote your time, energy, passions, and interests to. In short, College CAN definitely be all that it's all cracked out to be if you seize the opportunities that college presents! Too much is too much when it's affecting your academic performance and more importantly your personal well being. If you find yourself over stressed and over burdened by how much you are actively seeking out and taking part in, then scale it back. These activities and experiences are for your personal betterment and should not be negatively impacting your ability to succeed in school. I've shared the following advice on CareerVillage before but I think it definitely applies here to your question: As a teacher, I always told my high school students that college is exactly what you make of it. My advice for you start doing on day 1 to get the most out of your college experience. You'll see that college gives you a great amount of freedom and independence that you may be experiencing for the first time in your life (especially in a school setting). Take this freedom and seek out all opportunities available to you! Go to office hours, talk to your professors, make a commitment to attend all of your classes and study sessions, seek out tutoring, form study groups with friends/in your dorms etc. etc. It's so easy for students to not seek out different opportunities and stay in their comfort zone because there isn't anyone telling them that they have to. My advice for you, seek out as much as you can from your college/university and you will undoubtedly have a great experience. Best of luck as you continue to explore college opportunities! - Bryant

Anna’s Answer

Updated Omaha, Nebraska

Hi Elizabeth,


Keeping busy and involved in college can help you build excellent planning and time management skills, as well as encourage you to continually learn and hone critical networking skills that apply regardless of your post-college life path. Employers like to see work experience, which can come from myriad groups, not just paid part-time jobs or internships. Different groups and organizations provide varying experiences, which can spark new avenues and build up your support network. You'll know it's too much when your academic performance drops below your goals or your health and well-being suffers beyond the norm for you. I encourage you to take full advantage of the opportunities provided -- good luck!

--Anna

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