In College? Don’t Bore Yourself, Get Involved!

Depending on who you are and what college you are attending, the “College Experience” people talk about can either be a miserable experience or an unforgettable one. Someone once told me, “Don’t blink because high school will be the best four years of your life, and then it’s all work from there.” When I was in high school I heard both ends of the story. When I asked people if they enjoyed college, some said they hated it and some loved it. I wondered why the people who hated college despised it so much. They’d tell me how difficult the curriculum was, and that it would only get tougher. The enthusiastic ones loved it because they enjoyed the parties and friends they met. Those responses made me feel both concerned yet excited at the same time.

When I finally went to Cal Poly Pomona that fall, I saw what everyone was talking about. I had fun my first quarter in college. I would go to parties, meet new people, and everyone was just down to do anything. Little did I know this would only be short-lived. My winter quarter wasn’t as fun as fall, and neither was spring. I didn’t understand why. I found that all the people who I hung out with found where they wanted to be. Many enjoyed being involved in their major, others pledged for fraternities and sororities, and some were kicked out of college because they partied too hard. I wasn’t left with many options. The very next year was the same. I decided to get involved in a Filipino organization on campus, but they only met up on Thursdays, and their events conflicted with my schedule frequently. I knew I needed more.

Two years later, I decided to pledge for the fraternity Zeta Phi Rho. I made more than just friends, I made brothers. Up to this day I still keep in contact with the fraternity. After those short ten weeks of pledging they became my friends for life. Not to mention all of the benefits that came with it (I’ll get to those benefits in a second). Getting involved on campus was the most important and BEST decision I probably have ever made in my life. Now, if a high schooler ever came up to me and asked how college was, I’d say that it was 10 times better than high school. The difference with me is that unlike the people I talked to about college, I would tell them exactly what to do to keep college fun: GET INVOLVED!I highly doubt you are looking for a miserable college experience. If you are still in college, it’s never too late. Here are the benefits that go along with getting involved on campus:

  • Friends– Everyone needs friends. You’d be boring and be bored without any. You can’t go to a club or a bar by yourself. I mean you can, but imagine telling someone that you came alone and knowing down inside that you have no one. It sucks. Having friends allows you to experience things with other people than yourself. Who knows, a person in your circle of friends might be your future spouse.
  • Networking– This is what I love about being involved. Many of my fraternity brothers have found their first jobs after college through other people. Somehow, some person knows some guy who knows a manager that is looking to hire new college graduates. The advantage of finding a company to work for after college increases exponentially since you are exposed to more people. Not only that, someone you know will probably work at a McDonald’s or Verizon Wireless store and give you some discounts :-).
  • Exposure– Do you have a talent? If you can sing, dance, play an instrument, or write, then you are in a class separated from everyone else. What does that mean? Someone’s going to find you somehow. Someone is going to see you. You’re chances of being noticed goes far beyond everyone else’s, and maybe someone will sponsor you. You’ve got to get involved to find out.
  • Memories– No one wants to receive their degree, only to look back with regrets and wishes they should have fulfilled. I never wanted to tell someone that college sucked. It’s as if those who hated college started the real world four years too early. I’d want to party it up and have fun before I knew I had to buckle down and start working.
  • Advantage in the Real World– Employers aren’t just looking for smart brainiacs. Employers look for well-rounded individuals who can deliver in all aspects to the company. The more you keep your grades up and show that you were involved, the higher your chances are in getting that position over everyone else.

If you are scared that you won’t have any fun in college based on what everyone else is saying, don’t be. It’s fun and exciting. You just need to connect with others, and others will do the same. Throw yourself out there and pretty soon you’ll get a response. Don’t make your college experience a bad one when it doesn’t have to be. Get out there and do something! 

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