Being successful in college is more than just earning high grades. College is an opportunity to focus on developing new skills, making new friends and crafting a path for your future. Getting involved in extracurricular activities will help you to create memories that will last a lifetime. The benefits of student leadership in schools include making important connections with campus officials, building a solid resume and learning about how to work well with your peers.
Student Leadership in College
College is a fresh start, so take the opportunity to consider your interests and the skills that you hope to further develop. When you first arrive on campus, get involved right away. Attend student involvement fairs and consider the many options for student leadership in college. As you get involved on campus, you’ll begin to discover new aspects of your special talents as well as skills that you hope to further develop.
Learn About Risk Taking
Push yourself to assume leadership roles that may be outside of your comfort zone. Student organizations are hungry for new students to step up to the plate and help organize events and meetings. If you take the risk to get involved, you’ll learn strong communication skills, time management and the ability to multitask. These new skills will help you as you enter the professional world after college.
Learn About Working Collaboratively
One of the benefits of student leadership in schools is the chance to work with others to innovate and create new projects and programs. Working collaboratively with others can be challenging, but teamwork is critical in student leadership and in life. If you become a leader, you’ll soon learn about how to work with diverse personalities to make exciting things happen on campus.
Network With Important People
Student leadership in college often involves working with college faculty and staff. Each student organization has a college adviser. As a student leader, you’ll have the opportunity to develop strong relationships with professionals who can serve as a reference or open doors to other leadership possibilities. You may also meet alumni and potential hiring officials who interact with your organization.
Learn New Leadership Skills
You may not consider yourself a leader, but getting involved will help you develop new skills that may be surprising. As a student organization leader, you’ll learn about organizational goal setting, recruiting new members and even budgeting. These core leadership skills will be transferable as you enter the work world. You can even use student leadership experiences in an interview to show how you can hit the ground running as a new professional.
Give Back to the Community
Community service is central to most recognized student organizations in college. Becoming a leader will help you learn more about the broader community and bring a greater awareness of how you can give back to others. You’ll feel more fulfilled as an engaged citizen if you contribute your skills to a community service project.
Build a Well-Rounded Resume
There’s no question that employers are looking for more than just a strong academic performance in college. Becoming a student leader will help you build a strong resume that showcases how you can make things happen and how you work well with others. A resume that is packed with a variety of leadership experiences demonstrates the special gifts and talents that set you apart from other candidates.
Have Fun in College
The importance of student leadership also relates to having fun in college. Everyone needs a break from studying. Balance your hard work in classes with student leadership roles that will help you make new friends and participate in campus life.
Even if a job or college isn’t in the immediate future, getting involved in extracurricular activities now is beneficial down the road. When a student participates in groups or on teams for an extended time, she shows that she is committed to the activity. Longer-term extracurricular experiences also seem more genuine than a high school or college senior who suddenly joins every club possible to bulk up her applications. The optional activities a student chooses shows a college admissions department, hiring company or scholarship selection committee that she is well-rounded — balancing both academics and outside activities. That balance of activities shows responsibility and specific skills. For example, if a student plans to major in business, leading a student business group in high school demonstrates skill and interest in the area.
Extracurricular activities provide participants with an immediate benefit socially. Students in a particular group or on a team share at least one common interest. The participants may spend a lot of time together, especially participants of a team with regular practices. The extracurricular involvement allows students to make new friends, build relationships and develop social networks that make school easier to navigate. Getting involved beyond school may introduce students to other people they wouldn’t normally meet.
The focused nature of extracurricular activities allows students to explore their interests while still in school. Obvious choices for extracurriculars are those that match current skills or passions. A student with a strong singing voice may naturally lean toward the show choir, for example. These groups and activities also give kids a chance to test out potential interests. Joining the debate team is a way for a teen to test out his public speaking skills. A high school student considering a career as a nonprofit manager might join a community service group to explore the field.