I’m so excited for this new blog series specifically for high school seniors!! Have you wondered what college is going to be like? Especially if you’re going to be moving and living on campus? Dorms, sororities, homework, dating….? Well I’m so happy to introduce Braelyn, a Junior at UofA. I took Braelyn’s high school senior pictures a few years back and now she will be talking about and answering all the questions that go along with the next stage of school life! You won’t want to miss these posts! You can meet Braelyn HERE.
Here’s what Braelyn has to say about getting involved in extra curricular activities, enjoy!
However my freshman year, I changed my mind and did not do any extra curricular activities. Instead, I took some time to get on my feet before I overwhelmed myself. College is a lot different than high school – your teachers aren’t going to email you personally if you miss class, they don’t check up on you to see that you’re not falling behind, and they certainly aren’t going to give you personal attention in a large 500+ lecture hall. Granted, not everybody goes to a larger college with large classes and professors that don’t really care, but that was my situation. Therefore, I decided I would figure my way about college before I took on too much work.
My freshman year was awesome; because I was in a dorm and had a meal plan, I didn’t have to have a job, and I wasn’t doing anything other than taking the usual 14 credits or so. I had tons of free time, made a lot of friends, and was able to hangout and have a life while taking my classes. I was having fun, but I also felt that I had a little too much time on my hands, I was often bored with large gaps of time to do nothing. So after freshman year, I thought it would be a good idea to get involved in some more things because I knew I could handle the extra work. The first thing you have to decide before you get involved in other campus activities, is to make sure you have the time and energy. College can be an amazing time, but it is also easy to take on too much and become overwhelmed. Classes are the most important thing, they are the reason you are there in the first place, and should always take precedence over everything else.
Once you figure out if you have enough time for an extra curricular, you then should figure out what you are interested in. For me, I joined three different extra curricular activities my freshman year: I rushed a sorority (I’ll be posting an article all about Greek Life later on), I joined a sustainability program on campus, and I became an ambassador for the College of Humanities. Since I was just a sophomore, I was still really excited about college at this time and had a lot of energy and passion for my school, and wanted to do things that would make a difference.
Being in these extra curricular activities was everything I had hoped: I was able to have very diverse groups of friends, I was never bored, and I was able to make an impact on campus like I had wanted to. I think being involved in something other than your classes at your college is very important, not only will you meet people you might not have met otherwise, but it gives you a chance to practice leadership and practice working in groups with others.
My advice for extra curricular activities is to first, make sure you have the time and energy needed for whatever organization/group/club you are joining. Being overwhelmed in college is not fun, I know this from experience, and at the end of the day it will only make your grades suffer. Secondly, find something you are passionate about or really enjoy! I joined a sustainability group because I really cared about that, and because of that I was able to make a bunch of friends who also had the same interests. Lastly, don’t be afraid to quit. Yes, quit. In college, every single person, teachers and students, know that when it comes down to the wire grades are the most important thing. If you join an extra curricular and then begin to feel overwhelmed, don’t keep doing it because you feel bad to quit. Everybody will understand if you say you’re falling behind in class or just need to devote more time to yourself and your studies. That’s never a bad thing! Other than that, I would recommend exploring different clubs/groups. At my school we have over 500 different clubs so you never know what kind of awesome thing you could be missing out on!” – Braelyn