Getting involved in extracurricular activities can seem a bit odd, especially if you are an older student. So why should you join in and what types of activities are important? Studies show that students who are more involved in activities outside of the classroom, have higher GPA’s and are more likely to graduate. For older students, the challenge is in what types of activities will fit their specific lifestyles.
Academic and Professional Organizations
I put this first, as I feel it is the most important thing you can do for your career. These organizations provide excellent opportunities to better understand your profession and to connect with others in your field. Many professional organizations will have academic chapters. For example, the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) has chapters at many college campuses. These chapter often include connecting student to mentors who are working in the field.These are often hosted by the academic department.
This may seem like an odd inclusion, but I am not just talking about being a member of the football or basketball team. I am also talking about intramural sports, and even fitness classes or events at athletic facilities. Many schools have these activities which can provide you with a positive outlet outside of school, and allows you to get to know others who enjoy the same activities.
Athletics are not for everyone. Multicultural activities, however, are a great way to get to know other cultures, as well as to share your own cultural background and experiences.
Volunteer and Service Related Organizations
Volunteering and serving the community provide an opportunity to develop new skills and explore your local community in a unique way. If there is a cause you support, there is probably an organization to connect to. Follow your passion and make a difference in your community.
Many military spouses are veterans, and some veteran groups on campus welcome military spouses as well. Veteran groups can provide you a way to feel connected to the military community while you are attending school. They can provide you with a group of people who understand the military lifestyle, and provide great support overall.
Consider getting involved in your student government. This can provide opportunities to expand your leadership skills and make a difference. You could also represent non-traditional students and provide a unique perspective as a military spouse.
There are numerous other activities to include drama, music, art, and just about anything else you can imagine. Explore the activities your school has to offer and get involved. Become connected and committed to your school and classmates. These experiences can make a difference in your overall college experience. They can provide you with opportunities to help you succeed in the future by providing experience to add to your resume and networking opportunities.