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There’s no doubt starting college can be a stressful transition: bidding your family farewell, splitting up from lifelong friends, even snuggling your dog one last time (until you come home for the holidays, of course). Luckily, getting involved in college can help ease this transition; here are some ways to get involved in college:

1. Join a club

By joining different clubs and social groups, you will have events and activities to look forward to! It will also open a space to make new friends, explore your interests, and feel inspired outside of the classroom. Check out activity fairs on campus, or go online to browse the different groups you can join! There are plenty of options to choose from, including service-oriented, academic, media/publication, political/multicultural, leadership, and religious/spiritual organizations.

2. Try out for a sports team

Playing sports on a college team can come with a lot of benefits: student-athlete perks, travel opportunities, scholarship openings, and mentorships from upperclassman and coaches. Even if you don’t consider yourself to be a prodigious athlete, most colleges have club sports teams. Continue a sport you played in high school, or try a game you’ve never played before. There is something out there for everybody!

3. Apply for a job on-campus

Whether you want a job to save money or gain work experience, on-campus jobs are a great option for college students. Not only are they convenient in location, but some offer great opportunities to relieve living costs or provide essential experience to add to your resume. 

4. Consider a sorority/fraternity

Greek life is not for everyone, so check out these pros and cons before making a decision. Similar to student organizations and sports teams, sororities and fraternities make it easy to immerse yourself in your campus life. With so many members and events, you will always have something to do and someone to do it with!

5. Volunteer for community service

With so many service-based clubs and organizations, college is the perfect chance to give back to your community. Many colleges are incorporating service into their curriculum, making it even easier to find opportunities that appeal to you. 

6. Attend campus events

If you aren’t ready to make the commitment to specific clubs and organizations, don’t sweat it! Another way of getting involved in college is to take advantage of all the events held on-campus: sports events, concerts, festivals, lectures, marches, films, dances, and so much more! You can find a schedule on your college’s website to make sure you don’t miss out on any of it! (Often times, there is free food. I say no more).

7. Participate in student government

There are tons of benefits to joining student government at your university. First off, you have the opportunity to play a vital role in important decision making. If there’s something you wish to improve about your school, participating in student government gives you a chance to advocate for yourself and other students! Second, you will develop leadership skills that you can take with you long after you graduate. And third, it’s a valuable experience to share with potential employers!

8. Study abroad

If you are craving a little adventure, investigate your university’s study abroad programs! Not only will you experience a completely different culture, but you will connect with people from all over the world. 

9. Connect with research opportunities

There are thousands of opportunities for undergraduates to get involved in research. Many colleges also have an office or website dedicated to undergraduate research, so be sure to search online or talk directly with someone from the office. They’ll usually have a catalog of research opportunities both locally and at other universities, and the people working there can help guide you towards subjects you might be interested in. 

10. Start an organization

Can’t find exactly what you are looking for? Start it! Visit the student activities office and they will be able to walk you through how to start a new organization on campus. You will likely need a few other members to hop on board, but starting a new organization is a great way to make a lasting legacy at your college!

By getting involved in college, you are bound to learn a lot about yourself and make tons of connections along the way.