Everyone knows that the most important thing in university is going to class. That’s why we’re here: to get the grades and get our degrees and then move on to a good job in our field. But sitting in the library with headphones on studying 24 hours a day is not necessarily the best way to make the most of your university experience. Studies have shown that students who participate in extracurricular activities on campus develop better communication and leadership skills, better organizational skills, and overall have increased confidence in themselves and satisfaction with their university experience. A study conducted at Purdue University in 2010 found that students involved in on campus organizations earned significantly higher Grade Point Averages than uninvolved students, and found that students who were officers in those organizations earned even higher GPAs than the rest. The study did not make any conclusions about the optimal number of hours a student would need to participate in activities outside of class in order to have a positive impact on their grades. There are lots of ways to get involved at Brock without even having to leave the campus.
Play a sport
Brock is home to a large number of sports teams from hockey to basketball and even golf. If competitive sports are your thing, take a crack at being a student athlete. If you want a more relaxed environment with a similar level of physical activity, try joining an intramural sport. With most sports you play weekly on campus, and many of the game schedules are in the evening to fit in around classes. If playing the sports is not your thing, try going to a few games.
Get a job
There are lots of places for students to find paid work on campus. Most on campus jobs will also work around your class schedule, allowing you to fit in a few hours of work between lectures and earn some extra cash for the weekend. Check out careerzone.brocku.ca for currently available on campus jobs.
Join a study group
You can work social activities into studying by joining or creating a study group for yourself and other members of your program. Team up with other like-minded students and go over course materials outside of class to help cement the ideas into your brain. Studies have shown that explaining things to others can help you understand them better yourself, so helping out a classmate is actually of benefit to you. Be careful not to get sucked in to a situation where you’re doing all the work, and don’t forget to have a little bit of fun. You can make friends at the same time as improving your grades.
The Brock University Students’ Union has a lot of say in what goes on on campus. They provide a lot of services, such as the student health plan, transit passes, and even a food bank. Students can become involved in BUSU and the Brock University Students’ Administrative Council (BUSAC) and help make decisions on school by-laws, club funding and political policies. For information on how to get involved, check out brockbusu.ca.
Join a club
If the above options aren’t for you, consider joining one of Brock’s many on-campus clubs. Brock has dozens of clubs with subjects including American Sign Language, archaeology, anime, and musical theatre, as well as many clubs with a cultural or religious focus. If you haven’t found your group yet, chances are there’s a club for it.
Getting involved is great, but it is also possible to over-commit yourself. Having a part time job or two, full time classes, a social life and then also being a member of several clubs, groups, or organizations can take a toll on your mental health. Always make sure to save time for yourself to take a deep breath and recharge. It’s okay to say no sometimes and still be part of the group.