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The Why, When and How of INVOLVEMENT

Posted October 15th, 2012 by sternerr

During your time at OSU you are going to hear a lot of people talking to you about “involvement”. They are going to say that you have to “get involved” in order to truly make the most of your time here. They are going to say that “getting involved” is the ultimate determinate of whether you are successful in the classroom and outside in the real world. I’m not here to disagree with these statements, but I am here to give you some things to think about as you decide how and what to be involved in this year and beyond.

There are many reasons to be involved in clubs, organizations, sports, service groups, Greek organizations, student government, etc. during your time at OSU. 3 reasons that stand out to me are:

  1. Involvement allows for the development of skills and abilities (leadership, public speaking, working with diverse people, financial management, teamwork, event planning, etc.) that will be invaluable when searching for internships, jobs, and getting into graduate programs
  2. Involvement is a great way to meet new people, make new friends and/or study partners and expand your social circle. This can also lead to new networking opportunities for you down the road
  3. Involvement allows you to explore new interests (hobbies, majors, careers, politics, sports) and stay involved in ones that you are already committed to continuing

Based on these reasons for getting involved, here are some questions I encourage you to ask yourself as you explore OSU’s plethora of involvement opportunities:

  1. What types of clubs, organizations, teams, was I most involved with in high school? Which (if any) do I want to continue being a part of? What skills or abilities will I continue to develop from my continued involvement?
  2. What new involvement opportunities am I most excited about? What new skills do I want to work on? Who can I meet with to discuss the skills and abilities that usually come from being part of my new interests?
  3. What values do I hold dear (volunteerism, honesty, integrity, competition, intelligence, etc.)? Do other members hold these same values? Will they be helpful to me as I pursue your goals or create barriers?
  4. How much time and energy do I need to devote to this involvement opportunity? Does this seem like a reasonable amount of time given my current schedule and responsibilities?

Asking these questions will help you to make thoughtful decisions regarding what you get involved with and to what extent. Keep in mind that you can always get involved in more, less or different opportunities during your first-year and beyond. During your time on-campus you’ll learn about more and more opportunities but to get you started, here are some great places to start your “involvement search”. Happy hunting!

Student Leadership and Involvement-allows you to search for clubs and organizations using different categories/classifications- http://oregonstate.edu/sli/studentorgs

Rec Sports Programs- outdoor adventure, sports clubs, challenge course, opportunities and more http://oregonstate.edu/recsports/programs

Center for Civic Engagement- short term & long term volunteer projects, service learning, and community advocacy opportunities- http://oregonstate.edu/cce/

Campus Diversity- http://oregonstate.edu/main/campus-diversity

Center for Fraternity and Sorority Life- http://oregonstate.edu/cfsl/

University Housing and Dining Residence Hall Association- get involved in the events, programs, and financial management of your hall- http://oregonstate.edu/dept/rha/

 


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