Benefits of getting involved at USD



According to our university’s mission statement, USD is “committed to the dignity and fullest development of the whole person.” While many colleges are primarily concerned with a student’s academic performance, USD is devoted to the growth of a student as a whole, focusing on social and spiritual identity as well as the academic initiative.

Our university has hundreds of ways to get involved on campus, hosting a variety of clubs, teams, and organizations. If you had a chance to visit the Alcala Bazaar last week, you have an idea of just how many opportunities there are.

Although you may know the magnitude of options the university has to offer, you might be wondering why you should get involved in the first place. With the stresses our college courses put on us, why add more commitments into the mix?

According to US News, this investment can provide five major benefits. Campus involvement can help students feel more connected to the school, build a community, discover their passions and strengths, build their résumé, and improve their grades.

These five perks hold true at USD. First, students who take the initiative often will feel more linked to our university. Oftentimes, they are aware of the latest Torero news and are up to date with events going on around campus.

Further, participation may create a more comfortable environment in which we can better live and learn.  Once you find your niche within the university, you will have a “home” to come back to surrounded by supportive and interesting people.

On this path to finding the right environment, you will discover what your passions are. While some people assume that these interests stay consistent in the transition from high school to college, you may be surprised by the way they can change. Exploring different groups can expose you to a new hobby you may not have given a chance a few years ago.

Joining a variety of clubs or activities can also help shape your résumé. Dipping your feet in a wide array of opportunities will diversify your experience. Not only will this enrich your individual sophistication, but the range of involvements will also be impressive to future employers.

While reading this, you may agree with the validity of my points, but argue that it still does not change the stress and workload of your classes. You may still believe that there is no way you could fit any extracurricular activities into your schedule.

However, according to US News, campus involvements have proved to maintain or improve a student’s grade point average. They claim that having more free time does not mean that students will achieve higher grades in their courses. While it differs from student to student, busier students may do better in both areas. This may require more organization and time management from the individual, but these are two very valuable skills for college and the work force.

Further, in their book How College Affects Students, Ernest T. Pascarella and Patrick T. Terenzini’s research “indicated extracurricular involvement has a positive impact on attaining a bachelor’s degree and on educational aspirations.” Not only does involvement help a student’s current academic state, but it can also lead to a better chance of achieving the long-term goal of a college degree to secure a job or a spot in graduate school.

Senior Alli Chlapaty talks about how her experience has helped guide her through college.

“In the past three years I have been involved all over on and off-campus through clubs, academic programs and internships,” Chalpaty said. “Getting involved for me was about meeting people at first but it has turned into leadership positions that I can actively see preparing for life beyond graduation. My most important area of involvement to me has been being a PA and serving on the PA Council. I have made some of my best friends through this and it has helped me to be a better student and a better leader.”

In addition to the benefits outlined by the US News, engagement in college activities serves as a wonderful leadership opportunity. These leadership roles can teach you valuable life skills that you cannot learn from a textbook. If you look outside the classroom, you may grow in ways you never though possible.

Campus involvement benefits students more than one may assume. Instead of conflicting with your academic performance, it helps to foster the development of the whole person that USD is dedicated to supporting.

Keeping this in mind, next time you see a table for a club or organization, think twice before walking by. Signing up for something new may be just the thing you and your future are missing.