I think “getting involved” means being connected with the community in a way that is both giving and personally satisfying. If you are helping people out and happy with the niche you’ve found, then you are probably doing the right thing. This doesn’t mean staying in your comfort zone necessarily; getting involved and networking exposes you to new experiences, people, and ideas.
For me, the Edgewood College Peace Group has been a great resource for making those connections. We give to the Edgewood campus through educational events and action. We also focus on connecting the students at Edgewood with students at UW and the rest of the Madison community, which spreads out from there as more people advocate for peace, justice, and social change.
It’s rewarding not in the sense of “look at what we’ve accomplished” or “this event was cool,” it’s seeing different experiences, people, and ideas come together for a common cause.
One of the most popular pieces of advice people will give you when going to college is to “get involved.” This means doing something beyond simply going to class and studying– it means actually joining organizations, clubs, and activities on campus! Edgewood offers many cool things to do that can fit your own interests. If you like writing, join the writers for our school newspaper, On the Edge. If you like sports, there are 14 varsity athletic teamsand intramurals. If you are an Education major, join Student WEA; Business major, Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE); Art majors, the Art Club. There’s basically a club for every major.
Getting involved will not only give you something to put on your resume that employers will like to see (it shows you go above and beyond what is required, have other special skills and qualities that you demonstrated in the organization, and that you’re dedicated to bettering both yourself and an organization), but also gives you the opportunity to do something fun and make some friends.
Right now, I’m involved in a few things on campus. I’m Co-President of SIFE, where we do activities on campus and in the community to help others (such as fund-raising for a local non-profit, teaching a local middle school class how to balance a checkbook, and bringing a local entrepreneur onto campus to speak to students and hire for internships). For Student Ambassadors, we give tours to prospective students, assist them in finding their way around campus, and even do things like answer questions on a student panel. As a Study Abroad Ambassador, we give presentations to current students about opportunities at Edgewood to study abroad, whether it’s just for a few weeks, or a full year (I’ve student abroad twice myself: 1 month in China with an Edgewood class and 1 semester in Australia by myself). Getting involved and joining organizations around campus may take up time, but it’s definitely worth it.
To me, getting involved means to spread positive energy and ideas to other people. What I have recently got involved with here on campus was the work-study program. I was in bad need for a job and one of my freshman forum instructors, who conveniently works in the Admissions Office, put in a good word for me. The job has helped me more than just give me money. I have met many new people, which is always a plus when you feel like a lost little freshmen! Everyone in the Admissions Office has such a great attitude towards everything, and I have found that it has definitely rubbed off on me. Our main purpose is to encourage high school seniors to look at all the great things Edgewood College has to offer. There is no way you can possibly make an impact on a student when you carry negative energy. You will be able to spur more conversations if you are happy and upbeat and people are going to want to listen to you. Well, most of the time! Getting involved in the Admissions Office has helped me meet more people and also has helped me see the impact of having a positive attitude all the time!