July 16, 2019
Student life goes beyond attending classes and doing homework. It’s an opportunity to live new experiences and explore one’s interests and passions; it’s the occasion to meet incredible people and shape one’s future! And how does all that happen? Two words: student involvement. Being active in school life can change a student’s academic experience overall: whether it’s sponsoring an exchange student or joining the vegan club, all these experiences help students enrich their school career and learn in a whole different way!
Meeting new people doesn’t come naturally to everyone. For students just starting out at a new school—and sometimes in a new city—getting involved is a great way to make friends and build a social network, which will make their time in school more enjoyable. Plus, students who join a club are sure to meet people with whom they share at least one interest, meaning the odds of connecting with someone are greater.
SENSE OF BELONGING
Involved students develop a sense of belonging toward their school and its community, which is important because this feeling is a great motivator. Students who don’t feel included or appreciated in their program won’t feel like going to class every day and mingling with people with whom they share no affinity.
INTERESTS AND PASSIONS
Each school offers a wide variety of extracurricular associations: improv leagues, dance troupes, investment clubs, sports teams… there really is something for everyone! Students can pick activities within their comfort zone or go all out and experiment to discover new interests and broaden their horizons. And if none of the clubs seem interesting, they can always create a new one!
A PLUS ON THE DIPLOMA
School involvement can be an appealing asset for recruiting employers, as it implies these candidates will likely integrate their work environment easily and are practised in essential skills that extend beyond academics, such as leadership, creativity and innovation. In addition, many educational institutions recognize student involvement and add a special distinction on their diploma if these students request it, meet the criteria and write a report on their experience and what they learned. Students can even earn credits for their involvement!
Some forms of involvement, such as being part of a committee that organizes networking activities, give students the opportunity to get in direct contact with employers and important players in their field. Thus, this kind of involvement makes the job hunt a little easier after graduation. After all, contacts are key!
One particularly interesting experience for students is to be part of their program’s student association. This introduction to politics also gives students a say in what’s happening in their program, and allows them to contribute to its improvement. A myriad of skills can be developed depending on the position occupied within the association. For instance, being the vice-president of finance is a great opportunity to learn budget management, whereas being the vice-president of financing activities cultivates a student’s business sense, creativity and ingenuity in order to find original sources of funding. And, of course, being president of the association fosters leadership skills.
Overall, student involvement is an important part of the school journey. Sure, being active in school life requires extra effort, but it brings so much to a young person who is learning and growing. Unforgettable and rewarding experiences guaranteed!