by Sara Hillis, Assistant Director of Student Activities for Student Services and Involvement
Your student has wrapped up mid-terms, here is a pop quiz for you – why is your student in college?
I am sure your answers vary: to earn a degree, to get a job after college, for the experience. Ultimately, all of those answers have one thing in common: you sent your student to college to learn.
At Penn College, we believe in lifelong learning. Encouraging college students to broaden their horizons and try new experiences is critical to their development as a well-rounded individual. Much of what your student takes away from his/her college years will be memories and experiences beyond classrooms, labs, exams, and homework. College is a time for students to grow into an adult and begin to make choices on their own. However, as a parent, you can encourage your student to get involved in activities on campus. How does being involved benefit your student? I am glad you asked!
- Campus involvement looks good to potential employers.
Being involved with a student organization, joining a fraternity or sorority, or volunteering are all items that can be add to a resume. Penn College has a great reputation with employers for the technical skills of our students. However, improving skills like teamwork, communication, and time management are key to success in the future job search your student will face.
- It offers the opportunity to try new experiences for free or at reduced costs.
The Student Activities Office plans a full calendar of events and bus trips each semester. Most on-campus events – including comedians, concerts, and movies – are free. During Penn College Cinema Nights students pay just $3 at the Cinema Center in Williamsport to see any movie in the theatre! In addition, each semester several bus trips are offered to students for a reasonable fee. Past trips have included sports trips to the 76ers and Phillies, New York City, Six Flags, and Hershey Park just to name a few!
- Your student will meet new people.
As generic as that may sound, in life we interact with individuals from a variety of backgrounds and cultures. Getting involved on campus will expose your student to other student leaders. It is an opportunity for your student to meet others with similar interests and make a few new friends.
- It will increase your student’s satisfaction.
Several studies have shown that students who are active in campus activities are more engaged in the campus community and succeed academically. Other research shows that more engaged students stay at their institution and won’t feel the need to transfer. Although some students fear that being involved will hurt their academics, it may actually help their studies.
This is just a short list of the reasons to get involved. Your student can find out about many of the opportunities for getting involved on campus by visiting the Student Activities Office or viewing our activities calendar or list of student organizations. Activities and organizations include social, professional, spiritual, academic, and service-based.
While involvement is important, make sure to encourage your student not to spread him or herself too thin. Help your student understand that being involved in too much can negatively affect academic work.
If you have questions about on-campus involvement, feel free to e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.