Get involved, get connected, get inspired

January 17, 2012

First semester of freshman year, the majority of your time was probably devoted to getting lost around campus, making friends in your dorm, figuring our your major, and surviving finals. Now that you have a whole semester under your belt, it’s time to get involved and find your niche at CU. Getting involved makes the large CU student population seem much smaller as you get to know more people and take part in the network of groups and organizations on campus. With so many opportunities and different ways to contribute, there’s no excuse to not find something. But more importantly, the significant impact getting involved can have on your education here at CU can create, change, and carve your future path in ways far beyond what a textbook and lecture ever can.

For a comprehensive listing of CU-Boulder resources and services for students, check out the Division of Student Affairs website.

Volunteer your time

Now that we are college students, it truly is our duty to give back to the community we have gained so much from. Whether you want to help animals or children, advocate for the environment or for social change, it doesn’t matter—just find something you can support, and do it. Not sure where to volunteer? Try the Volunteer Resource Center, Volunteer Connection, VolunteerMatch, or the Institute for Ethical and Civic Engagement.

“I like being in GlobeMed because I have met a bunch of people who have a similar passion for promoting global health equity.” – Ashley Armstrong

Join a student activity or organization

No matter what your interests or passions are, there is a group of students for you. From intramural and club sports, to Anime Anonymous, to Sports Marketing Club, to the Extreme Measures, to Gay Straight Alliance, to Boulder Freeride, there are countless student groups you can join. Becoming involved in an organization is a great way to pursue interests outside of the classroom. Can’t find the group your looking for? Create your own!

“Doing school activities not only allows you to make new friends, but also allows you to find yourself and your potential career path.” – Elle Aud

Find a leadership position

A foundation in leadership not only helps you excel in academia and in the work world, but also enriches you personally. CU GOLD, Chancellor’s Leadership Studies Program, and CU Student Government (CUSG) are only a few leadership-based groups on campus. Reaching a leadership position in any student organization can also be just as rewarding as participating in a group meant specifically for developing leadership skills.

“Student Ambassadors is really about bringing the best and brightest students to the CU campus. Being a student ambassador gives me the chance to be make a difference in the lives of incoming freshmen by sharing all of the wonderful opportunities CU offers.” – Andi Hudler

Go Greek

Getting involved with the Greek community on campus is another great way to get involved. Panhellenic Sororities and Multicultural Greek Organizations are both affiliated with the university, and provide students with opportunities to participate in community service, develop leadership skills, and expand socially. The Interfraternity Council also provides students with academic support, leadership skills, lifelong friends, and a network of opportunities.

“The Greek community is an excellent source to meet other students from different backgrounds whether they’re from out-of-state or different majors. It’s a great way to get involved with a large community that shares the same motivation to help other organizations like charities and local student groups.” – Brett Forrest

These are only a few options of how you can get involved on campus; so if you don’t see anything you like, start looking for other opportunities. Becoming active on campus allows you to be a contributing member of the CU and Boulder communities, helps you meet people and find your place on campus, and can inspire interests and passions outside of the classroom. But let’s be real—another huge perk of becoming active on campus is that it’s a major résumé-builder. The truth is, thousands of students graduate every year across the country with your same degree—so what you do outside of the classroom sets you apart and distinguishes you as the most valuable candidate to employers. Most companies and organizations don’t care about your GPA, how many credits you graduated with, or even what your specific major is (sorry to break it to you). What makes you unique are the groups and organizations you belong to, positions you hold, and the overall good you’ve contributed to the community. Also, employers love to see long-term commitment—so if you start now, you’re ahead of the game.  So get involved today!