21st Century Scholars > College Success Guide > Getting Involved Outside the Classroom

Getting Involved Outside the Classroom

The more involved you are in your campus community, the more meaningful — and more fun — your college experience will be. There are plenty of reasons to make the most of your time outside the classroom. By getting involved, you:

  • Start off on the right path. Studies show that students who are engaged inside and outside the classroom are more likely to stay in college and earn a degree.
  • Meet new people and pursue new interests. You have an opportunity to create new circles of friends and discover new things you may enjoy.
  • Build a sense of community and connection to your school. Participating in campus activities can quickly help you develop a sense of belonging at your school.
  • Carve yourself a niche. Getting involved can help ease that sense of homesickness you might feel and make a new environment feel a bit cozier.
  • Boost your résumé. You’ll develop practical and interpersonal skills that show potential employers that you are a well-rounded person. Participate in extracurricular activities such as clubs and sports, and look for work, volunteer or internship opportunities.
  • Maintain balance. Between studying, going to class and working, you’ll need outlets for fun, healthy activities. But don’t overextend yourself. School work should always be your first priority.

Ways to get involved

Your school offers many ways for you to get involved. Be proactive. If you live and work off campus, you may have to work a little harder to get engaged, but it’s well worth the effort. This is your college experience — make it count.

Join a club. Most schools have a web page dedicated to student activities and organizations. Also, look for fliers posted on bulletin boards and other campus communications about call-out meetings and events.

Volunteer. Participate in community service activities. Some colleges and universities even offer academic credit for volunteer work (called service learning). Check with your advisor or your school’s career services office to see how you can connect to volunteer opportunities.

Take part in recreational sports. Most colleges and universities offer a wide range of fitness classes, club sports and intramural sports. Visit your school’s recreational sports center or its website to explore the variety of activities available.

Attend special events. Throughout the year, college campuses host a wide range of events, such as theatrical performances, special speakers, symposiums and more. Many of these events are free (or greatly discounted) for students. Check your campus events calendar for a schedule.

Don’t miss out on special Scholars’ events!

Many colleges have campus-based 21st Century Scholars programs that sponsor activities and events for their Scholars. From peer-mentoring groups to study tables to social events, these are great opportunities to meet and make friends with fellow Scholars.