How to succeed in college: Part 6

Today I’m writing about some of the extracurricular activities you can find on most college campuses, and I’ll be using the Campus Life page on the NC State University website  as a guide to suggest the types of activities you’re likely to find. Keep in mind that NCSU is a very large university, with more than 600 student organizations. Your school may have more or fewer, but it’s likely to have many of the same types of organizations. In addition to Sports and Recreation (which I discussed in my last post), the list of activities at NCSU fall under the headings of Arts and Activities or Community Service.

Arts and Activities include the obvious: drama/theater (acting, set design, costume design), music (singing, playing an instrument), dance, arts and crafts (painting, drawing, pottery, weaving). However, the umbrella part of the phrase, “activities,” can expand to include many other opportunities to participate in campus life. I’ll list a few, just to give you some ideas:

  • Contribute to the work of a newspaper, yearbook, literary magazine, radio or television station.
  • Participate in a hobby club, such as a group focused on cars, fishing, gardening, or chess.
  • Toastmasters—many campuses have chapters of this international organization that can help you develop public speaking skills (important in job interviews!).
  • Groups devoted to an interest in travel or learning about other cultures. This can include groups which participate in organized study abroad programs, but it may also include groups of students who just share an interest and want to learn about the language and culture of a part of the world unfamiliar to them.
  • Department or major-specific organizations (for example, English Club, Society of Physics Students) that host speakers, take field trips, and have conversations of topics on interest to their academic discipline.
  • Political organizations, such as College Republicans, College Democrats, or Students for a Democratic Society.M/li>

Participating in these types of organizations can ensure that you make time during your college years to relax, find others with common interests, develop a hobby or skill, and build your network.

Community Service organizations also come in a wide variety of types, from those that are affiliated with national organizations, such as campus chapters of the American Marketing Association, Ducks Unlimited, or Habitat for Humanity, to those that are specific to either the campus or the local region, such as, at NCSU, Service Raleigh or The Krispy Kreme Challenge. The benefits of participating in community service organizations are often the same as with arts and activities, with the added bonus of allowing you to feel good about contributing to the betterment of others.