Manchester University
Oak Leaves

September 14, 2018

Fall Involvement Fair 2018

Students walk around the Mall to sign up for new clubs to join this year.

Photo provided 

Extracurriculars Beneficial to College Experience

Kylie Mitchell

Are extracurricular activities essential to the college experience? Three individuals say they are.

First-year Noah Dillon enjoys the social aspect. “They not only help you meet new people, but most of them can give you a learning experience that you can’t learn in books,” he said. “You could also meet someone who could be a really good friend or you could miss out on someone great.” He pursues several clubs including Band, We Are Board and MU Gaming Society.

Senior Delaney Ray agrees. “It’s a great way to make friends, have connections to faculty and staff, and to keep you involved and busy,” she said. “Generally, it also makes people happier because they like to feel a part of something and have people to hang out and do things with.”

In her three years, she has taken part in Student Orientation, Fashion Club, Student Senate, and many more. Involvement in her extracurricular activities has taught her to be a better student. “It ironically helps with time management,” she said.

Professor Barb Burdge added: “It builds a social network of friends and acquaintances by providing a sense of identity outside of classroom. It also gives students a way to blow off  steam, and get heads out of books to contribute to campus community.

“There’s more to life than strictly academics, and a liberal art school is in the business of developing the whole person,” she said. “Therefore, extracurricular activities give young adults the opportunity to develop other aspect of their personalities, improve other skills, and have fun.” Burdge’s hobbies included participating in multiple bands, the Psychology Club, and volunteer work at the local Domestic Violence Shelter.

All vocalize the values of self-discipline, time management, and the importance of making friends. A mutual consensus determined that not taking on too much and balancing all responsibilities will aid in avoiding a negative experience. When asked whether anyone had regrets, Dillon exclaimed “Not yet!”

However, Ray had an opposing response, stating: “Yes, I got too involved right off the bat instead of slowing getting involved as I aged.”

Burdge declared her most prominent regret by stating: “Looking back I would have been better off  at a smaller school because I got lost in a huge school and became anonymous.”

Despite any potential unfavorable encounters, the good most definitely outweighs the bad. Having more experience, Ray confirms this. “Not many people are involved in too much so it’s more likely that the extracurricular will be more beneficial,” she said.

Burdge added: “Yes, college presents students with the opportunity to figure out the balance between work, play, civic involvement, and social involvement.”

Overall, extracurricular activities enrich the college experience. They have multiple opportunistic qualities that allow students to make new friends, be involved, and retain a confident sense of individuality. These activities also aid in enhancing treasured values such as time management, self-discipline, and sustaining all obligations. It is highly encouraged to get involved and see what is out there. With more than 60 clubs to join, any possible interests will have an organization to go with it.