Ever heard of a course called BS Org? Yes, we claim that it exists. Based on my intuition as a college student for two years, at least half of the college students are guilty of giving most of their time and effort on org activities rather than on academics (and I’m actually one of them LOL). Well, great news! As a current organization officer and an active member for two years, I can say that there are actually numerous valuable things and habits you can pull out in the future when you devote yourself to extra-curricular activities during your stay in college—at least that’s what’s happening to me right now.
So, if you’re currently looking for a good excuse to exhaust your free time on org activities again or daring to enter the org life, I am sharing to you the useful aspects I get out of it to keep you motivated to thrive:
My networks continuously grow.
The most exciting thing about college is being introduced to a whole new, diverse, and immense environment, and to make the most out of it, building connections is the way to go! One of the most effective and easiest (if you’re shy) ways to meet new people is by joining academic or interest organizations because you will be a part of a group that has the same hobbies, curiosity, and advocacies as you. Also, by spending most of your time with them due to the various activities that your organization will be planning out, it’s like you have an instant barkada already!
My relationship with my college best friends grew stronger because of our organization. We would plan parties for the members, arrange different projects to support our mission, and along the way we unknowingly began to build a safe space for one another. We were each other’s rocks in handling stress and every hardship we encounter—not just in acads but also in our personal lives. Whenever I feel like I need something to distract myself from my personal problems, the org was there to save me—it was my escape from the normal daily routine I have in school. I also got the opportunity to know the seniors before they graduate and some people outside my course and school because of every collaborative event that organizations arrange throughout the academic school year. Now, there are non-stop hellos in the hallway (and more drinking buddies).
My experience as the External VP, also gave me the chance to know professionals in my field, which can benefit me in the future. I got to meet the founders of different companies and foundations and gained knowledge and awareness regarding different affairs. One of the most memorable engagements that I had was with the founder and volunteers of Miss Possibilities Foundation. Because of the connection that I had built with them, I get to be part of one of their campaigns, which made me understand the great world of the children with special needs. These are the possible connections and experiences that you can obtain if you get out of your comfort zone once in a while.
I got to have a glimpse of the professional world.
It will give you an additional workload but it’s all worth it. From being a feature writer at our organization’s official publication to being an apprentice to our seniors until now that I got to have a position at the Executive Board, I learned how to balance my priorities, thus, molding my discipline as a professional. NGL, being an officer is really stressful but my love for the job outweighs it. My work at our organization is to handle external partnerships and relations and from there, I got to learn a few work ethics such as the right way to converse with professionals, improve my professional writing skills since I get to send out tons of letters and emails, and it also taught me that being present when duty calls is a form of respect for everyone.
Participation in organizations and other extra-curricular activities is more than just another bullet for your resume, but it's a devotion, passion, and unconditional duty to the organization to attain goals. My presence in different extracurricular activities honed my skills and abilities that go beyond the expected standard for a student. It trains me to be more creative with ideas, responsible for my opinions, lend support and cooperation to the team, and to be resourceful in times of crisis—the basic skills and behavior you need to be an efficient employee.
It became my avenue to improve myself.
When I was young, I was not that vocal about my ideas. I was always the one who talked under her breath when disapproving of another’s point of view. But it changed when I stepped into college and forced myself to participate in non-academic activities, and it was one of my best decisions in life. I learned how to speak for myself when I want to share my thoughts, I was confident in explaining my perception of things because I felt that it was valued and acknowledged.
I was challenged at first, yes. I had to go through numerous rejections and criticisms, but now, I am proud to say that my judgments and concepts are now being used in different projects because I didn’t stop trying.
I was able to give myself a chance to prove that I can be more than what people expect me to be. Being with an organization or at least a group that has the same goal and mentality as you, will bring out the best traits in you. So choose the people you surround yourself with, better if it’s with people who can balance work, party, and emotional breakdown sessions—they are the best ones out there (shoutout to my friends and orgmates!).
It also taught me how to be resourceful and responsible in terms of budgeting money, because in an organization, you only have limited funds to utilize for every project. There were times when we used every recyclable material we had from last year to make designs so we can allocate the budget to other important stuff. Since then, my mindset was fixed to that idea that I need to be clever in handling things around - and this helped me adjust to a better lifestyle in my personal life.
I got the opportunity to speak up about what I advocate.
Before all this, my views and opinions about what I advocate remained unheard and it felt like I have nothing to contribute to the sectors I support. Posting opinions on my social media accounts and conversing with my peers about these topics were not enough for me to feel that I was making a change. Until I joined my organization. Not only did it give my ideas and views a platform, but it also introduced me to the different frames of references that allowed me to challenge my views and have a stronger sense of what I am fighting for.
Sometimes, it’s not enough to just blurt out our thoughts out in the open, every so often, we need to take action to make real changes in our society.
The best times in college are outside of those books and the four walls of your classroom, so go out and interact, experience everything and rest assure you will make your remaining years in college not only an investment for your future but also a memorable story that you can go back to years after.