College is new, exciting, difficult, and full of lessons. One of the things five years of college has taught me is the importance of balancing work and pleasure. Roughly six weeks into the semester we are hitting that halfway point, midterms. A time where everything seems to start piling up at once. A time in the semester where in order to stay sane you need to find a relief for built up stress and anxiety. My recommendation for that is somewhat counterintuitive; get involved in something that interests you.
Why get involved then there is already so much going on?
When it comes to college, especially in the beginning, you are doing a ton of work for those introductory classes that you are only taking because they are required. These classes may not interest you in the least, and it may feel like a waste of time, but the work still needs to get done. Finding something to work at that engages and interests you can be a great stress reliever.
What does getting involved look like?
One of the amazing things about college is the culture of diverse interests and acceptance of the obscure. If you are interested in early German film there is a club for that. Want to learn how to do improv? There’s a club for that. Did you play ultimate Frisbee in high school and miss playing? I know I did, so freshmen year I signed up to join a team. It was one of the best decisions I ever made. It allowed me to get out of the dorm and library, connect with new people, be physically active and have constructive stress relief.
What if the club I’m looking for doesn’t exist?
If it doesn’t exist, start it. In today’s age of social media college student are more connected than ever, making it easy to reach out and see if there are people with similar interest as you. In high school I really enjoyed being a part of DECA. So much so that it inspired my major when deciding what I wanted to do in college. When I started at MSUM five years ago there was no DECA program. But one day when lazily scrolling through our class Facebook page I saw a post that someone had left asking if anyone would be interested in starting a DECA chapter on campus. One thing lead to another and five years later MSUM collegiate DECA has become one of the most successful clubs on campus. Not only that it has has the most positive impact on my life of all the clubs, activities, and intramurals that I have been involved in through college.
Putting yourself out there can be intimidating but the payoff for the initial discomfort is worth it. Partly because of the people you will meet at these activities that can become life long friends. As well as the experience you will have can greatly shape your future. If you are looking for ways to get involved in something that you are interested in or just want more information about what is happening around campus look up your school’s Office of Student Activities. There job is to connect student with information of clubs and activities going on around campus. Dealing with the pressures of school can be difficult, adding something that you enjoy to your schedule can help with that stress , give it a shot and let me know how it goes.