The end of July brings the horizon of August and soon college students from East Carolina University will return to the world of academia and all that it brings. Life as a college student consists of a multitude of things, but one facet which often gets taken for granted is campus involvement, which is one possible regret that college students can have post-graduation.

According to a 2017 survey of 444 recent college graduates conducted by the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development, about 33 percent said their biggest college regret was not getting involved on campus, which was the second biggest college regret from the surveyed group.

Joining a club or organization on campus is an opportunity that can be just as life changing as earning your degree. Campus involvement has something for every student because ECU has more than 425 registered organizations. Additionally, it gives students a chance to contribute to the university is the way they see fit.

One of the biggest hurdles which most college students go through is time management and staying organized. Credit hours pile up, stress can be constant and there’s nothing worse than remembering at 11:50 p.m that you have an assignment due at 11:59 p.m.. By joining the right clubs and organizations, students are more likely to better manage their time. At first, it may seem as though it’s a on your plate, but if you really find something that interests you, you will make time for it in your schedule.

While having a degree is nice and worth it in the end, when it comes time to enter the competitive reality that is the workforce, your degree may not be enough when compared to someone else’s. Playing a role in community service, organizations and clubs unequivocally gives your resume an added bonus for employers to look at. Also, campus involvement can connect you to peers or people in higher positions who could potentially help you in the future.

On a large campus such as ECU’s, it can be easy to feel small and blend in with the numbers. Getting involved on campus is the best way to change that. You’re surrounded by like-minded people who you probably wouldn’t have met in your classes. You’ll spend time with each other outside of an academic setting, serving as support systems for each other in times of need. It’s rewarding to do work in an organization you believe in, but the true reward can come from working with people who became your friends in the process.

As a member of ECU’s Student Activities Board and Student Media, getting involved on campus was one of the best choices I made as a freshman. I made friends who became family, made lasting memories and experienced opportunities beyond what the classroom could give. No matter how much time you have left in college, live in the now. Ask around, use your OrgSync account and return to campus as a member of something new.

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