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College applications seem to constantly ask potential students about their leadership abilities and skills. However, once you graduate high school, where do you go from there when you still want to be a student leader? Thankfully, college offers several leadership opportunities for students. Let’s break down some potential choices into different categories!

Student Clubs

This is one of the more obvious ways to become a leader. Go on your college’s student involvement website and find a club you’re interested in. Often times, club elections take place before the start of the academic semester. This allows you to experience the club as a member before deciding if it is something you truly want to invest your time with. As an active member you get to learn how the club works, suggest ideas, help with events, and meet other like-minded individuals. If there’s a certain club position you’re interested in, showing the club how you’ll be great for the position is important. Remember to attend meetings, be involved, and remain respectful of your other club members.

Becoming a Student Ambassador or Mentor

Several colleges offer students the opportunity to apply to be a student ambassador or mentor. Becoming a student ambassador can involve different goals depending if your school divides its ambassadors into different areas. Colleges often have separate ambassadors they use for recruiting students and other ambassadors they use to showcase the diversity of the school. If you’re school offers these options it can be a great way to be an ambassador about something you’re passionate about.

Mentorship is often a position reserved for older students but it is still something to look into. Student mentors are assigned a student or group of students that have a similar major. Mentors help their mentees transition into college and how to explore different options in their field. It’s an excellent way to be a leader and to help someone at the same time.

Greek Life

Joining the Greek community is something that doesn’t work for everyone. But if it’s something you think you’ll enjoy, go for it! Greek life allows several ways to gain mentors, volunteer service hours, alumni connections, and leadership skills.

Large Greek organizations often divide themselves into smaller committees to help the group run smoothly. These committees can involve anything from public relations, volunteer service, recruitment, and so on. So if you’re afraid of getting lost in the crowd, don’t worry! Greek communities often have something for everybody.

Student Government

This is often something aimed by extremely ambitious students wanting to do more for their school. Gaining a seat in student government isn’t impossible but it should be something a student is deeply interested in since it is a large time commitment. Student government is more than a resume booster, it is an honorable position because YOU get elected by your peers in order to represent their needs and concerns to the school.

Besides president and vice-president positions, there are usually positions where a student can represent the college they are majoring in. Such as liberal arts, engineering, business, etc. So if you aren’t interested in president and VP, there are other positions available. There’s usually nomination deadlines and interviews for student government. Remember to research details in advance so elections don’t leave you behind.

Being Creative

Nearly every single, quirky school event once started as a student idea that turned into a tradition. Nothing quite shows leadership skills like taking your own initiative on something that hasn’t been done on campus before. This can be anything from a campus-wide fundraising event, potential new student events, and even introducing new bills to the student government of your school.

As long as you follow school rules you have no limit on how create you can get. Because of students, colleges have established traditions that attract potential students, made rules that protect the student body, and have created a good reputation by helping charities. As long as you follow school rules and have the support of other students you can get as creative as you want.

For motivated students who are interested in making a difference on their campus, there’s multiple ways to be involved. If at first you don’t get the position you want don’t fret. Just because you don’t get a certain position doesn’t mean you still can’t be a leader in other ways.

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Erendira Jimenez is a second year student at Wichita State University. She's majoring in International Studies and is part of her school's honors college. Like all college students she has a love for pizza, Netflix, and college freebies.

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