The Truth About Getting Involved in College

The Initial Pressure

If you want to go to any kind of graduate school, then you’ve heard the words, “You need to get involved”.  This is true for furthering our education, but also for providing us with a great college experience. Getting involved is what allows us to make friends, and stay sane.

As soon as I got on campus last fall, I was flooded with emails and flyers pushing me to join clubs. I felt like I wasn’t allowed to have time alone in my dorm. This way of thinking caused me to spread myself way too thin. I was forcing myself to be a part of clubs I didn’t even like because I felt it was the best option I had.

The truth is, you do need to get involved, but it doesn’t have to be immediately. Give yourself some time on campus to adjust to this new way of life. Determine how long it takes you to study, work out, etc, and then plan what time you have left for other events. When you feel ready to start putting yourself out there, try a few things out.

Only Do What Interests You

Don’t stay involved in things that no longer interest you. If the club doesn’t turn out to be what you thought, that’s okay. I joined a girl’s fitness club that I was so excited about, but as the semester went on it didn’t live up to my expectations. I made myself keep going to workouts and meetings because I thought maybe I wasn’t really giving it a chance. Eventually, I realized there was nothing wrong with the club, it just wasn’t right for me.

You’ll know when you’ve found your place. Activities that you choose to be a part of should never feel like a burden. If you can’t find something that interests you on campus, then make something that does. I came to college ready to join one of the 600 clubs Clemson offers! You know what? I didn’t end up liking a single one. So, I decided to make my own.

This is YOUR College Experience

College is one part of our story, and ultimately, we are the writers of it. This means YOU have the power to shape your college experience. Do what fills your soul and nothing less. Remember getting involved isn’t some chore we get to check off a list. Getting involved is something people tell us to do because it makes our time at college better. So stop approaching it as a task, and start instead by seeing it as an opportunity.

If you’re having trouble getting involved on your campus, or if you have an idea for a club, but aren’t sure what to do, feel free to email me. I know how scary it can be to put yourself out there. You can reach me at


With Love,

Ashley Ardele


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