By Lexi Carder
With the start of a new semester comes new beginnings and opportunities. I began my student life at WVU Parkersburg in the spring of 2019 and immediately applied for a work study job out of necessity. However, I did not expect a small job such as this one to completely change my experience at college. Working with the Health and Wellness coordinator, and at the same time the Student Engagement coordinator, allowed me to be open and aware of more adventures in clubs and organizations as I saw and listened to students as they came through the office. From my own experiences and with talking to other involved students attending here and at other college campuses, I have compiled a list of the benefits of being an involved student.
Whether you are a student worker, involved with clubs, organizations, committees, activities or events, being involved in your school is a fantastic way to make connections that are both professional and personal. You become a resource for others, parents and students alike, which builds your self-confidence and social skills. You can develop leadership skills as well through this process. It allows you to change and grow through new experiences and learning about new things. You also discover a lot about yourself, such as your passions, talents, strengths and weaknesses.
As a work-study student, you have a supervisor that works around your complicated class schedule and wants to be your mentor for the length of time that you work for them because you are taking a significant workload off of them. This emphasizes the importance of teamwork and collaboration because most of the time you are working with other work-study students and this usually requires group-work for certain tasks to be completed. It also looks great to have on a resume as well as the added marketability of yourself through learning soft skills such as answering phones, time management, organization and more. During this process, you are also making money, which is a great bonus to a college student.
Being involved can also help with managing your time on campus, which includes managing your stress from classes and busy schedules in a short span of time. Decompressing from an exhausting class schedule is crucial to surviving the semester and your grades will thank you for it. Attending fun events on campus, like laser tag or a basketball shootout competition, can be one of the many ways to destress. If you are feeling stressed and anxious, talking to someone or even seeing a friendly, smiling face in the unfamiliar hallways makes the day brighter. It also makes one feel more at home and comfortable on campus whether it is far from home or thirty minutes away.
Being involved also helps you maximize your learning experience because you get to know your professors on a deeper level and they can give you information from their experiences in the world. This also strengthens your connections on campus and could even lead to a letter of recommendation, something that is crucial to most students going into graduate school or getting the job of their dreams. Being more knowledgeable about your professors and campus also reflects onto your knowledge of the surrounding community because you are using your local resources.
These experiences not only help you become a well-rounded student, but also to become someone who is able to thrive in the world outside of classes and grades. By being involved on campus during your student career, you can achieve your goals because of your connections. I am so much more at ease on the WVU Parkersburg campus because of the family I have created by getting involved.
You can find more information on how to get involved during the campus Pop-Up Resource Fair on Wednesday, January 22, as well as the WVU Parkersburg website under the Current Students tab. Also, Jennifer Randolph, Career Services Director at WVU Parkersburg, sends work study job opening emails.