Translating your high school involvement can be one of the hardest things to do. When you are in high school it is way easier to make a name for yourself in certain organizations and become well involved, but it’s not so simple to do that in college. Before you begin your journey on getting involved I have to make a big announcement: involvement in college is not the same as it is in high school! It is nearly impossible to have the same level of involvement in college that you had in high school–at least numbers wise. You won’t be able to successfully join 5+ clubs in college like you did in high school. You will have to pick and pick well. This doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to get involved in a variety of things, it just means that you might not be able to get involved all at once.
Now we have to look at what you were involved with in high school.
1. Student Government
If you loved student government in high school there are many ways for you to get the same joy in college. Hall Government and Student Government Association are just two awesome ways for you to get involved in college. Keep in mind that both these roles will be way more difficult to handle in college than they were in high school. You will be making real decisions that will affect you and your colleagues.
For me, Hall Government was a great thing to get involved in my freshman year in college. I was able to meet others in my residence hall, have weekly meetings, throw programs for my building, and get out of my comfort zone a little bit. Your residence hall will be one of the first ways that you can branch out and make friends so if you’d like to get to know a lot of people from your residence hall including a lot of resident assistants sign yourself up for hall government!
Student Government Association in college is very important. You are in charge of making some very difficult decisions for the student body at your school. This is not like high school where you are getting a handheld experience the entire time. You will have advisers to help you, but ultimately you are making super powerful decisions that will change a lot about life on your campus. At my school SGA is in charge of a ton of events on campus, distributing SAFA funding, and making changes to the university. The Student Government Association works in tandem with many higher university officials.
If you were sporty in high school there are many different ways to continue the sporty person in you through college. Some of the best and most consistent ways to do that is either through intramurals or through joining a sports team.
Intramurals are an amazing way to continue your involvement from high school to college without a huge time commitment on your part. At my school we have four leagues of intramural teams: Housing, Sorority, Fraternity, and Independent. You can get together with your hall-mates, sisters, brothers, or friends to create awesome teams. Different schools offer different intramural sports but some popular offerings are flag football, softball, volleyball, and basketball. Your school might also offer intramurals in things like bowling, baggo, ping pong, or cross country.
Joining an actual team at your college is also an option if you are willing to put the time and effort in. Joining an actual sports team has a lot of benefits because it allows you to get scholarships, play a sport you like regularly, and meet a lot of like-minded individuals. Playing on sports teams can be a bit difficult though because you have to dedicate a lot of time to sports instead of school work.
If you were interested in arts in high school there are a lot of ways for you to translate that love into college. Some major ways to do that are getting involved with showcasing your art around campus, getting involved with theatre, and getting involved with band.
My school is fortunate enough to have a small gallery on campus called the Baum Gallery. This showcases student art year round and is a great place to go to discover awesome new art pieces. Your school may have a similar set up where you can display your art after you make it.
The theatre program at my college is pretty great. Not only do we have an amazing major at our school but we allow non-majors to try out for roles in our plays each year. Even if you end up playing a smaller role in a school play I guarantee you will be able to at least try out for a position in a school play. If you acted in high school, but you don’t want to major in theatre still consider getting involved with your schools theatre program in college.
Last but not least, band is a great way to show of your art skills in college. Not only will you be eligible for lots of scholarships, but you will also be able to get involved with music and be a very important part of band at your college. College bands are always amazing and they get to do a lot of things. It definitely takes up quite a bit of time, but it is definitely worth it.
Getting involved in college is a scary process, but remember there is not a single person who has it all together. These tips may not work for everyone, and you may not want to be involved in the same things you were in high school. The big thing you need to focus on is what legacy you would like to leave for yourself.