One thing that got most of us into Higher Education was our involvement as an undergraduate student. For me, that statement is dead on. I was involved with many activities as a young child, teenager, throughout my time as an undergrad, and now as a graduate student.
For me being involved is a chance for me to learn, grow, and to meet others that I might not have the chance to do otherwise. As a graduate student in Higher Education, we need to remember to get involved to evolve our education and knowledge about what we are about to step into.
My involvement has taken me so far in life- all the way to Tuscaloosa, Alabama- because of my involvement with NODA (National Orientation Directors Association), to Chicago thanks to the NASPA4E Conference in 2011, to Louisville for ACPA’s 2012 National Conference, and of course good ‘ol Columbus, OH for OCPA’s 2012 Conference! I’ll be going to places like Las Vegas (twice, for NODAC & ACPA ’13) and Madison, WI and who knows where else because of getting involved with organizations.
As a graduate student you can take opportunities to get involved on your own campus- try advising an Alternative Break trip or advise a student group. Currently, my involvement has given me the opportunity to: Attend the 2011 NASPA4E Conference, attend the 2012 OCPA conference, have an #SAgrow Mentor (from the founder himself!), advise an alternative break trip, become the co-graduate member at large for OCPA, be on the planning committee as a co-chair for my committee (which actually got me thinking about this post during the conference call today), and getting the opportunity to present at a national conference! These are just some of the things that I have been able to get involved with and I haven’t even started my 2nd year yet!
Read, watch, listen to any and everything that you can so you are able to grow- personally and professionally. There’s an organization out there for you- you can find any way to help yourself learn by joining an organization that you are passionate about. Remember, the reason why you got into this career path because of your involvement as a student. Embrace it. Embrace the involvement.