Anna’s declassified college survival guide: Tip #1 get involved

Many of us grew up watching Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide. His tips, while sometimes a little kooky, helped us survive middle school, but left us high and dry for high school and now…college. Life is full of making mistakes and hopefully we can all as students learn from them. 

Sometimes learning from other people’s mistakes makes our lives a whole lot easier. The purpose of this column is to do just that, learn from others and hopefully make college a lot easier to survive. 

A little introduction may help you trust your guide a little better. My name is Anna Panek and I am starting my sophomore year at St. Cloud State University. I am double majoring in Math Education and Spanish Education. On campus, I work as a learning assistant and tutor for the math department. I am also a writer and copy editor for the University Chronicle..

I am also the treasurer for the Future Educators Club as well as the Success Networking Team Coordinator for the National Society of Leadership and Success. When I am not on campus, I manage a childcare program in my home town and spend my free time reading and spending time with my family. 

My first tip for all of you is to get involved! College students are notorious for being busy, but getting involved on campus is certainly worth your time. There are roughly two hundred groups on campus that you can join. For a list of all of them and some descriptions check out Huskies Connect. With that many different organizations, there is something for almost every interest or hobby you have. If there isn’t, you can make one of your own.

Campus policy only requires you to have a handful of people or so to start a new club. If organized events aren’t exactly your thing, there are plenty of events on campus that you can attend without making any commitment such as sporting games, cultural nights, and musical performances.

There are many benefits to getting involved on campus. According to U.S. News, five reasons they believe college students should get involved are: feeling connected to your school or university, helping you build a community, aiding students in discovering their passions, building your resume and improving your performance in all areas. 

Getting involved may even mean getting a job on campus. There are plenty of jobs opportunities whether you applied for it or received a work study grant. Many of the opportunities are listed on the university’s website.

Almost every department utilizes student workers to help them with various projects. This is a great way to get experience in your field, connect with your professors, and even make a little money on the side. 

Getting involved in college is important for students who live on campus, and even more important for those who commute. If you are a student who lives on campus, it is very easy for you to get involved.

If you are a commuter it may be more challenging, but it comes with a bigger benefit. Commuters have less chance to interact with their peers for the simple fact that even in non-lecture classes there isn’t much time set aside for getting to know your peers.

As a commuter myself, I feel that I have put more effort into my education because of the community I have built with others that are involved in the organizations and groups I am a part of. 

I challenge everyone reading this whether you are a freshman, a few years into your degree, or even graduating this semester to check out a new organization, group, or attend a new event. The best way to learn about everything St. Cloud State has to offer you, attend Mainstreet on Sept. 4 from 10-3 p.m. at the Atwood Mall.

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Anna Panek

Anna is a junior at St. Cloud State University and is double majoring in Math Education and Spanish Education, with a minor in Special Education. She is the Managing Editor for the University Chronicle this year. When she is not at campus attending class, working as a learning assistant or math tutor, or writing for the University Chronicle, she enjoys volunteering, reading, being overly competitive at board games, and telling horribly funny puns.

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