Don’t just study – do something

As many returning students would agree, getting involved in extra-curricular activities on campus has countless perks. One of those perks is that you get to go out and meet people. Sure, O-Week gets you bonding with your rez-mates and, once classes start, you bond with your classmates. However, extra-curricular activities expand your social circle one step further. You get to meet people outside of your rez and your class. You get to meet people who are passionate about the same things you are, and who are looking to do something productive with that passion.

Now, the phrase ‘do something’ can mean a wide range of things. In its ten years, Laurier Brantford has seen cookouts, pub nights, sidewalk sales and countless handing out of fliers, just to name a few – all in the name of fighting for a good cause. When Haiti was hit with a devastating earthquake in January 2010, many Laurier Brantford campus clubs stepped up with charitable events to raise funds for Haiti relief efforts. That is something I’m not ashamed to mention in conversations when I talk about my school.

Organizing these charitable activities builds skills you may not acquire within the walls of a lecture theatre. When I joined Journalists for Human Rights (JHR), I got to know the who’s who of campus operations in the process of booking a room for our meetings. When I handed out fliers on International Human Rights Day, I managed to step out of my comfort zone and talk to people I didn’t know, just so I could explain to them what the day was about and why they should care. Students organizing bigger events get to learn how to source out materials and manpower. They get to learn how to distribute resources and delegate tasks to their peers. In rallying up others and getting them to support a cause, students acquire invaluable people skills.

Those skills will, in turn, look fabulous on your resume. In a room full of aspiring candidates waiting to be interviewed, these skills are what will differentiate you from the rest. When employers glance at your resume (glance, not study, peruse or analyze), they want to quickly see what skills you have to offer their organization. Your list of extracurricular activities demonstrates all of your valuable skills in just a few seconds. A statement like: “Founded the Rainbow Alliance to help serve the needs of LGBTQ students on campus” says just as much about your organizational skills and your ability to achieve goals as a page-long explanation could.

The question you may be asking now is, “How do I find time for extracurricular activities?” Well, university life is all about time management. As a peer mentor for the university’s writing centre, I’ve helped many students get their affairs in order through the use of a timetable. When done correctly, even a student taking eight courses every semester still has loads of time to keep a part-time job, spend time at the gym and have fun outside of class. After all, when your full-time occupation is studying, you’ve got to make time for some fun!

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