Getting Involved

8 Nov

Last night was an exciting night for me: I made my debut as a UTM Eagle.

                                        

I play on the women’s basketball team. Now, I’m not telling you this simply as a way to brag about myself or about my team (although we did beat Scarborough 43-28…just sayin’…).

I’m telling you this because I now know firsthand that getting involved on campus has so many benefits for a first year student. Here are just a few of them:

It gives you something else to do with your time other than studying and going to class. You need that break from books and lecture halls or you’ll drive yourself crazy. (Trust me, during midterms, all I did was sit in my room and study…I didn’t realize how crazy it was making me until I forced myself to take a break and go for a walk).

A sport is the perfect way to stay in shape. If you were like me and were concerned about putting on a Freshman 15, a sport is a fun way for you to be active without really realizing that you’re getting a good workout.

Joining an extra-curricular is also one of the best ways to meet people. Not only will you find friends from all different programs and years, you’ll find people that automatically have similar interests as you.

Now I know that most people are probably already aware of these benefits, but the problem is, even though these aren’t exactly secrets I’m spilling, most students won’t get involved on campus.

Some people think that extra-curriculars will distract them from their studies or that they just don’t have time to fit them into their schedules. Well I think that sports and clubs are the absolute best ways to de-stress…they just make you feel good. When you feel better, happier, and more relaxed, you will be more enthusiastic about being in a classroom and you’ll do better academically.

And as far as putting yourself out there, well…it wasn’t easy for me. I was incredibly nervous to go to try-outs. I am not the most out-going or adventurous person in the world, so going to a try-out with all new people was intimidating. Especially since I had just moved away from home for the first time, so I was already at my limit for going outside of my comfort zone.

But I did it anyway.

I went to try-outs and now I play with a great group of girls. I realized at our home-opener how much I had missed playing basketball and that I would probably be miserable if I hadn’t tried out and had to go a full year without playing.

Moral of the story? Get involved.

I know that it’s difficult as a first year student to put yourself out there when you’re already dealing with so much change.

But a little anxiety and a little discomfort will pay off in the long run.

If it doesn’t, well, feel free to blame me for this advice.

And it doesn’t have to be sports either….join a club (there’s all kinds of them) or volunteer or work on campus.

I want to know what you think….

Do extra-curriculars enhance the university experience? How do you get involved on campus? Why?

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