As your student manages their busy academic schedule and other responsibilities, getting involved in student organizations, leadership positions, volunteer opportunities or on-campus events may feel like a low priority. Yet, cultivating a sense of belonging and connection offers many benefits to their college experience and future.
Multiple studies show a connection between student involvement and positive academic outcomes, improved mental health, increased confidence and other benefits.
Improved academic performance
Participating in extracurricular activities creates a positive link between belonging and academic achievement. Involved students often have higher GPAs and feel more committed to CU, which can result in more persistence to graduate.
Students can find ways to connect with other students in their major or participate in academic activities.
- Join student organizations related to their area of study or academic interests. To explore student organizations, they can check out BuffConnect.
- Explore the events, programs and leadership opportunities within their area of study or major.
- Check out tutoring resources to support their academic growth and connect to mentors and peers.
Find support when facing discrimination
Acts of discrimination, whether overt or microaggressions, cause harm and can negatively impact a student’s college experience. Research shows a link between students experiencing discrimination and increased rates of depressive symptoms and lower GPAs. The data also shows that academic performance and mental health can improve when students become involved on campus and have positive peer relationships. Becoming involved can create a sense of belonging and community that offers a support system to help students navigate experiences of discrimination.
CU Boulder is committed to equity, inclusion and social justice. Students can find community support and connection by exploring the many ways to get involved.
- Engage in diverse programs and events at the Dennis Small Cultural Center.
- Explore identity and inclusion through events and programs offered by the Center for Inclusion and Social Change.
- Find support and community through events, programs and resources offered by the Pride Office.
- Connect with the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance (OIEC) to address issues of discrimination and harassment.
Positive impacts on wellness and mental health
Activities that encourage belonging help students to achieve goals and have more confidence. Involved students typically have more social support, which can positively impact mental wellness, counter depression and decrease the risk of suicide.
CU Boulder’s Health and Wellness Services offers a wide range of programs, events and resources to support students.
- Students can visit the Recreation Center to participate in fitness classes, intramural or club sports, Outdoor Pursuits and other classes or activities.
- Health and Wellness programs offer ways for students to learn, have fun and connect to resources, including Mindful Mondays, Health Huts and Wellness Wednesdays.
- Students can explore education and prevention topics like stress management, healthy habits and life skills.
Build a strong network
Students involved in campus organizations and activities can build a more robust network. Their network can help connect them to internships, awards, job opportunities and mentorship now and in the future. The Forever Buffs Network offers students and alumni a way to stay connected to the Buff community.
CU Boulder has several departments to help students engage in the community, focus on the future and make the world a better place.
- Career Services helps students manage their job or internship search through events and workshops. Students can also schedule an Express Appointment to meet with a career advisor.
- The Volunteer Resource Center connects students to volunteer opportunities on campus and in the community.
- Students can participate in events and programs offered by the Environmental Center and join the Sustainable Buffs Community.
- On-campus jobs help students gain skills, meet new people and earn money.
Enjoy the college experience
Being involved can make college more fun. Joining student organizations, attending campus events, volunteering and other activities can help students meet new people and make friends. Data shows that when students make five or more friends at CU, they are more likely to feel like they belong.
- The Center for Student Involvement offers events like Buffs After Dark, Buffalo Nites, DIY Nights, I Love Mondays and more to help students meet new people and have fun.
- The Connection gives students a place on campus to enjoy bowling, billiards, ping pong, board games, video games, tournaments, trivia and more.
- Students can join a student organization or start their own to build relationships, advance a cause or learn something new.
- Fraternity and Sorority Life offers students a way to get involved and build relationships.