Making the Most of College: Part 1 – Join a Club

Students unite for human rights (photo courtesy breakthetraffic.com)

As we enter college, few of us are prepared for the lifestyle change it entails. A key factor to remain successful in college is to enjoy the time that you are there. If you are miserable, then it will most certainly reflect in both your grades and your attitude about the experience.

What are your hobbies and interests? Incorporating these things into your academic life will prove to be much more enjoyable and help you set goals and work toward achievement in many disciplines. Start by looking for clubs and student organizations that fit with your values and interests. Being an active member in a club can give you the sense of achievement you may be looking for.

As a political science major, I don’t really fit well into particular party affiliated clubs such as College Republicans or College Democrats of America, but I wanted to participate in a student organization. I found that the more classes I took for my major, the more I wanted to be a part of the process. I wanted to help educate people about how important they are and the rights that they have under the U.S. Constitution. Some of the problems with our political youth is that they don’t participate very much and make uniformed decisions. Sometimes, we need someone to help educate and explain things to us while encouraging and explaining the benefits of participation of not only national politics but within our communities as well.

With nothing of the sort offered on campus, I am now in the works of becoming founder and president of the Active Americans club at Owens College.

Through forming the club, I have learned not only new roles as a leader and gained a new sense of responsibility, but how important like-minded friends are to academic success. Through our club, we not only identify policies that affect our education, families and communities, but we also learn about important legislation that was passed by our forefathers that has an under-appreciated impact on our everyday lives. We hold charity benefits for local organizations and to me, nothing makes me feel more accomplished than knowing you helped someone else. Your passion is reflected in your participation and communication with others. It encourages you to learn and remained informed. We work together for our community, charities, campus and each other so that we may better ourselves in the process.

To say that being in a club helped me academically would not do it justice. It has taught me many life lessons that will guide me through my professional life as well. The moral of the story is to go out there and participate! If it isn’t available to you, make it happen. This is the first step to finding success in the professional world. Make opportunities for yourself.

Dana Frederick
Perrysburg, Ohio
The author is a political science major and sociology minor at Owens Community College. She is currently working toward improving college retention for other students by serving as a peer mentor under Title III, a grant from the U.S. Department of Education.