The Daily Gamecock

Column: Student involvement crucial


While it might seem like clichéd advice, getting involved in academics, clubs, organizations and other social settings on and around campus may be of greater significance for students than it seems.

According to Alexander Astin’s student involvement theory, “the greater the student’s involvement in college, the greater will be the amount of student learning and personal development.”

Similarly, a study found that, for both freshmen and seniors, “involvement in student organizations has a strong association with psychosocial development, particularly on students’ establishing and clarifying purpose, educational involvement, career planning, life management and cultural participation.”

I personally find it accurate that the level of involvement is predictive of — or at least correlated with — finding a sense of purpose and direction not only in academics but in life after school.

As a senior who has transferred from two colleges before arriving here at USC, I know that I wouldn’t have had the same stability as I do now had I not gotten involved at each campus.

By joining student organizations I made many of my friends, who have encouraged me to pursue my academic and career goals. When picking classes that interest me, I have found that I learn diverse things that apply to my life in surprising ways down the road. I have been a part of clubs that have taught me the importance of cultural appreciation and diversity and that have challenged and strengthened my beliefs and opinions.

Without getting involved on campus, you can not only miss out on enjoyable opportunities but also on opportunities that can prepare you for your future as a working adult.

Often, it is the opportunities that we don’t think much of that end up having the greatest impact on our futures. Student involvement is one of those opportunities. Don’t let it pass you by — no matter what year you are in college, take advantage of the opportunities around you to grow. You just might be glad you did.