By Clorinda Weeks, GUA 2020 Alumni, University of Alabama at Birmingham
College is the best way to explore and gain knowledge about the world and all it has to offer. But just going to classes and doing your homework should not be the only activities to do on your campus. Making sure you are getting involved on campus is necessary for you in the long term to help your career. It allows you to network and connect with different people that you may or may not need later on in your life. It also gives you a chance to know what your interests are to help you better yourself in your career choices. In high school I was involved in many clubs such as Beta Club, HOSA, and FBLA. These clubs have shown me the value of what it is to network and learn about people. Going into college, I was skeptical about not finding the right clubs or groups that would best fit me. But I was still determined to find at least one club that will interest me the most.
Luckily, I go to a school that has over 350 clubs and organizations. It was not long until I found something that sparked my interest. Due to COVID-19 some clubs were not accepting new members or were not holding meetings for members, so I did not join many clubs like I would like to. I did find 3 clubs this year that I am grateful that I did. The first club I joined was the Pre-Physical Therapy Society, which I joined due to my interest in wanting to be a physical therapist. This club has given great insight on the job and ways to achieve my goals as being a PT. Even though the meetings were held on zoom this year, it was still a good opportunity to learn from other students and actually physical therapists about the application process and how the job is on the field. Joining this club has made me feel better and more prepared for my future. The second club I joined is called BWomen which stands for Blazer Women Mentoring Excellence Network. This club is for black women that go to UAB. Since
UAB is a majority white school, and sometimes it can get frustrating to compete or be comfortable in that environment. This club helps provide black women a group for us to be comfortable with ourselves and learn from each other. I have not had a great amount of opportunity to be involved in the club because of COVID-19, but I am expecting the coming up year in this club to be a great experience. I have already been assigned a mentor in the group who will help me with things I need throughout the year. The last club that I involved myself in this year was the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. I was nominated to be involved in this group, and I am glad I did. This club helps provide students with scholarships and internships that will benefit them through college. I am excited about this coming up year when my school chapter will start having meetings and I can finally meet and talk to members. Even if joining clubs is not your thing, then just going out doing the different events your campus has is another great way to be active on campus.
At UAB, there are events daily that students could attend. I have attended bible studies, film festivals, and even game nights. Going to these events allowed me to meet people and grow my relationships with people. Being involved on campus has shown me that college has more to offer than just learning. It gave me lessons and opportunities that I can take with me through my entire life. I have learned so much more about people and different values people have, which has given me more insight about the world. College has been more fun and uplifting by me getting involved on campus. It can be draining to just be studying and never do anything on campus. Getting out and being active on campus can relieve some of the stress that college brings. College is more than just studying and books, it’s about networking and putting yourself out there to build more opportunities for you in your career.