Published: Sept. 13, 2021
JB Banks

Buffs, we’re about four weeks into the semester. I hope you’ve been able to settle in, meet some new people and establish a routine that works for you. 

If you feel like you're still adjusting or haven’t met new friends yet, that’s okay. Adjusting to new routines and environments can take time. It’s common for many students to still be figuring things out right now. 

One thing that can help is to get involved on campus. Whether you’re in your first year, final year or a graduate program at CU, getting involved has many benefits. Your academic studies may be what brought you here, but extracurricular activities can help keep you energized, meet new friends and feel connected. You have the freedom to customize your college experience here at CU Boulder.

You may have attended some campus events already or looked into joining student organizations. Or maybe you joined an organization or program last year that you feel may no longer be serving you. Know that it’s never too late to get involved, and you can always explore new options. Wherever you are in your academic journey, here are some things to consider.

If you’re in your first or second year of college...

College is the time to try new things, and figure out what you like and don’t like. It’s easy to stick with what you know, but you may end up missing out on experiences by staying comfortable. You might be surprised by what you find you enjoy and who you meet when you step outside your comfort zone. 

Take time to explore your interests, and be open to new interests or hobbies. Find organizations, volunteer opportunities and events based on your interests to meet like-minded Buffs. As you browse events and other ways to get involved, be curious and try new things. 

By your second year of college, you’ll have a better understanding of what extra time you might have around classes and other responsibilities. Your interests or passions may also have changed, which is common as we learn and grow from our experiences. Continue to explore and see what’s out there to find your place on campus.

If you’re in your third, fourth or final year of college...

Did you know that getting involved can help you build professional skills and gain experience for your resume, in addition to meeting others?

Many student organizations have different roles and positions for students to fill. These can include roles in programming and event planning, marketing and more that offer a chance to develop new skills. Or you could take on a leadership role to help build communication, problem solving and organizational skills. 

Ask your professors or advisors about research, tutoring or TA opportunities in your academic program. Volunteering, on-campus jobs and leadership programs also allow you to gain professional experience while meeting new people.

You can also find and build community in your off-campus neighborhood. Meet and get to know your neighbors, and attend community events in Boulder.

If you’re in graduate school...

There are plenty of opportunities for graduate students to connect with others and find community on campus. You may sometimes feel too busy to get involved, but having a support network in place can help during times when you may feel stressed or overwhelmed.

From professional organizations to graduate student groups, check out these options to meet fellow graduate students. Attend career workshops and seminars for graduate students to connect with others and help you feel prepared for life after your program. There are also other student events and workshops throughout the year that allow you to meet others and learn about campus resources. 

Use campus resources

Wherever you are in your academic journey, there are resources to help you get involved and find community:

I’m here for you and can help connect you to the right resources and opportunities based on your needs and goals. I have office hours this week in the UMC, room 308, from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. I hope you’ll stop by to say hi and let me know how your semester is going.

JB Banks
Dean of Students and Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs