Maybe the Fall 2013 semester is your first at Towson, or maybe you’re a seasoned Tiger. Whether you are just settling into your new residence hall, live off-campus (or at home), it is never too late to get involved on campus! While a tremendous amount of learning occurs in the classroom during your years at TU, getting involved with groups/organizations on campus can create opportunities to improve your self-care while building new relationships.
Getting involved has so many benefits, not just for the improvement of the campus community at large, but for individual well-being and satisfaction as well. First, and this is especially important for freshmen and transfer students, joining an organization or club gives you a solid foundation to build positive friendships. Often, students find that joining a club or organization that you are passionate about makes it easy to meet people with similar interests. This can be a great way to begin building relationships on campus.
Although it might be a little intimidating to go to club or organizational meeting for the first time, we’ve come up with some steps that might make the process a little easier:
- Grab a Friend. Having another person that is interested in getting involved on campus makes it easier to approach student and organization leaders. So grab a friend, and get going!
- Find your Passion. You are here to follow your passion, but we’re college students and might not always know what our passion in life is yet. Trying out different clubs and groups on campus is a wonderful opportunity to explore your interests further, learn more about yourself, and see what truly lights you up. Think of the process as an experiment.
To find out about some options, visit: https://involved.towson.edu/. The Counseling Center also offers peer education programs related to body image, drug and alcohol use, sexual assault, and wellness and self-care. This is a great way to support your fellow students, learn useful skills, and help develop the TU community (http://www.towson.edu/counseling/peered/).
- Be Honest. You might not like every club you try out, and that’s okay. Give it a shot and if it’s not for you, be honest with yourself and with the leader of the club. Communicate the reasons you won’t be continuing to participate. It’s polite and better than never coming back.
- Be Brave. One of our favorite phrases is “put yourself out there.” Although this comes easier to some than others, taking risks and learning how to thrive in new situations are important pieces of the personal growth puzzle. Use your resources on the Towson website, your RA’s, older classmates, and professors to find out more of what Towson has to offer. It is even possible to start your own organization, if you so desire! (http://www.towson.edu/studentactivities/studentorganizations/HowtoStart.asp)
Look for opportunities to make positive connections with other people in your communities, starting now. You might make some new friends or discover a new passion. Regardless, challenging yourself to grow is an important part of your individual development. One of the best ways to do that is to put yourself out there and get involved!
Melissa Weinberg & Mary Rosekrans
The Counseling Center