Getting involved is the first step to college success
A.S. President Colin Watrin says
getting involved on campus eases
the transition to university life.
WWU photo by Brett Flora.
By Liz Hansen
WWU University Communications
Moving to college and adjusting to college life can be an overwhelming and exciting experience for freshman. The one piece of experienced advice Associated Students President Colin Watrin has for freshman is simple: Get involved.
"Whether it's getting involved in your residence hall, joining a club, being on a committee or just going to events around campus, doing something to get connected and meet new people will make the transition to college a lot easier," Watrin says. "Getting connected to your college campus will help give you a really good college experience."
Studies show getting involved makes a big difference: Students who are involved with on-campus activities are more successful academically, feel more satisfied with their college experience and are more marketable to future employers and graduate schools.
When first arriving on campus from Vancouver, Wash., Watrin joined his residence hall association to meet other students. And while he did meet many friends, he says he wished he would have become more involved with the numerous clubs throughout the university.
Joining a club is probably one of the easiest ways to feel a part of the university, Watrin says. There are more than 200 clubs on campus open to all students, from the A'capella Club to Young Life; there is something for every student.
Watrin said another key bit of advice for freshman is to not be afraid to try new things. Remember that every freshman is in the same predicament during the first few weeks, adjusting to college dorm life.
"Everyone is as nervous," Watrin said. "Everyone is just as unsure of themselves as you are. So don't worry about being goofy."
If a student is not ready to join a club, Watrin said exploring everything the university has to offer will help students feel more at home.
"Just going to events and seeing things like concerts, films, comedians, and open mic night will help you get your foot in the door with campus life," Watrin said. "Come explore the Viking Union, there is always stuff happening."
Watrin warns freshman to figure out early how to manage their time between socializing, school work and, possibly, a job. Time management is an important part of keeping those grades up, he says.
"Those first few quarters were a little rough for me," Watrin says. "It took some time to figure out how to balance everything and know when to work and when to play. I realized after a while I couldn't study in my dorm room because there was too much going on. So I had to learn to go to the library or a classroom to study."
After all his experiences of campus life Watrin says it is up to students to figure out their own paths and make the most of college.
"Experience everything you can," Watrin says. "There are all kinds of new people at school. This may be your time to break free and find out what you're all about."