By William Takewell, Communication Specialist
So, you’ve heard from two of our ambassadors and gotten to know some of the theory behind why student involvement matters. Now we want to challenge you to truly take your involvement here at Southern Miss “To The Top.”
To quote my mom, among other mothers I am sure, “Don’t forget why you’re in college—it’s not to change the world, it’s to get a degree. You can go out and change the world after that.” The reason students, you, are at The University of Southern Mississippi is to get a degree. The main function of any student group should be to assist in student completion of degree requirements and to give students an experience that will help them professionally—that is why you should get involved. With that being said, here is a quick top five of things for new students on our campus to remember when joining groups, let’s just say this is what “To The Top Involvement” looks like:
5. Don’t over extend yourself! Pick two to three things that you are genuinely interested in either academically or socially, and stick to them for your entire first year.
4. Join at least one organization that deals with your major. Joining a group that is specifically related to your major will help you meet some of your professors, fellow classmates and help you see if the major you have selected is what you really want to be committed to during your college experience.
3. Step up and lead. Do not be afraid to take on a leadership position during your first year. Leadership positions are scary and can be challenging when you are new to campus. But, challenging yourself to be a leader is a great way to branch out and show your commitment to the organization you are a member of. It also doesn’t hurt your resume to have leadership experience—that is something future employers and graduate schools will most certainly look for.
2. Get to know your group members—especially some of the older ones. Do not just join a group and sit in the back of the room during meetings without talking to anyone that you do not know. Interacting with current members will give you an opportunity to understand what the group is really like and what the struggles have been. Talking with older members will help you see where the group has come from and some of the ideas for the future that can benefit you if you take on a leadership role.
1. Have fun with your groups. If your student organization membership is stressing you out to the point where you are no longer enjoying it or your grades or suffering, it may be time to re-evaluate your membership in your groups. You should enjoy what you’re doing in student organizations and it should be a way to relax and get to know people outside of classes.
We want you to be successful as you start your college journey. Student organizations are a great way to be successful, but you must understand why you are joining and how it is important to you and your success. Join something that you can be passionate about and can honestly see encouraging other people to join as well because of how it has contributed to your success. We are here to help! Stay tuned for more blog posts from Student Activities.