By Marian Li, Toppel Peer Advisor

It’s a new year and a new semester, and possibly, even a new you. Now that you’ve gotten a better hold on the academic pace college has, it’s time to explore your interests and have fun at the same time. There are so many opportunities for you to get involved; you owe it to yourself to get the most out of your four years here at the University of Miami.

Learning New Things – Every experience you have builds on what you already know. You get a chance to put yourself into problem-solving situations or try something “hands on”, lessons learned from projects or working with others stick with us much longer than those theoretical scenarios we learn in class. There are so many ways to get involved and each has something different that it brings to the table. In the university environment, there is a myriad of student organizations that cater to individuals’ interest niche.

Build Your Resume – Your resume is something that should constantly be improved by the diverse things you do in life, hence why we call it your “working resume” here at Toppel. Students have a preconceived notion that only paid positions or internships are allowed in their required Experience section; although work is one way to build the resume, activities or organizations that showcase student leadership can also demonstrate what you have to offer to future employers.

Increase Scholarship Opportunities – Scholarships can play an important part in paying for college. The more prospects you have for scholarships, the higher probability of earning a type of financial aid that you don’t have to pay back. Clubs, organizations, and activities sometimes have scholarships tied into them. If not, activities will be helpful when completing scholarship applications.

Develop Stronger Personal Skills – A person changes and grows with each new experience. Getting involved might provide the chance to take a leadership role in an organization or club. That would be a way for you to learn more about how to lead people and groups. Even if you don’t have a leadership position, you would learn key teamwork strategies seen in your future workplace.

Meet New People – This is one of the most important reasons to get involved, in my opinion. You have the chance to meet so many new people from various cultures and with different perspectives. All the people you encounter in activities and organizations have traits you can learn from. More importantly, it creates a sense of community, especially since college is usually a foreign environment.

Getting involved helps discover new friends with similar interests. Who know, you may meet someone who will be your friend for life. Getting involved has so many benefits. Some you see right away and others that build with time. I know I enjoyed all the activities and clubs I’m involved in so close your books and take a trip to the Student Activities Center (SAC)!