Editorial: Get ahead by getting involved

Heading into my fifth and (hopefully) final year at Brock University, I’ve come to learn exactly what made my experience in post-secondary as successful as it has been. The simple answer: getting involved.

That was preached back in high school when universities would come visit. They all said that getting involved was a key to success. As I come to the end, I officially stand by that statement.

I got started with The Brock Press in my first year and haven’t let them get rid of me since. This year I’ll also be working with BrockTV, so my involvement isn’t limited to one thing.

I should add that your participation doesn’t need to be a paid job, per se — obviously it’s a bonus being a university student.

That being said, this past summer was my third year spent working on-campus and it seemed that there were more students that stayed back instead of heading home for the four months than previous years. Or maybe I just got out of the office more. Whether it is working or volunteering, students seem to be taking advantage of what’s available at university more than ever. Maybe the sentiment of getting involved is catching on, or maybe it’s easier to just stay in St. Catharines than move back home for four months. Whatever the reason, people who get involved at university seem to gain a lot of great success.

An article on topuniversities.com explored three benefits that come with being involved: the obvious , the less obvious and the non-obvious. The obvious is being able to gain experience and build relationships. The less obvious is that it looks great on your resume and to future employers, and you can potentially gain a reference. The non-obvious, which I think is still a bit of an obvious, is that you enjoy university a lot more. You really learn that there’s more to going to class, studying and partying.

You may think that the positions available on-campus, from paid work to volunteer work, are limited and won’t fit your interest. However, between the student jobs available, numerous volunteer positions and clubs for almost anything on-campus, there’s a fit for everyone.

The problem that may occur is that not all these positions are widely marketed. You need to take the initiative and search for these opportunities. It may be as simple as checking your Brock email more regularly, or it could be something announced in class and it goes over your head because you aren’t paying attention, or it’s about taking advantage of resources like Career Zone.

I get I’m discussing summer opportunities at the end of the summer. This doesn’t do anyone any good, but I’m sharing what I’ve started to notice. And if your choice is to not stay over the summer, at least take advantage of what is available during the school months.  This first month will open the door to many potential avenues; these might be mentioned in class, during the welcome week Vendor Fair, overheard in the library or found through your own initiative.

It’s better to start thinking ahead while in university rather than waiting until after graduation or for an opportunity to fall into your lap, especially if you want your resume to look nicer.

The university is quiet during the summer, but it’s getting a lot more populated with students taking full advantage of what the post-secondary experience is about. If you weren’t told in high school or you forgot about the opening paragraph of this article: find what suits you and get involved early.

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