The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Involvement on campus is crucial

The most significant decision I made in high school was to join my school’s theater group. Prior to high school, I had never participated in a school club or organization, because I felt I was not welcome anywhere. Unbeknownst to me, I was the one making myself unwelcome.
After joining theater, I became a new person. I had found something I could pour myself into and strive to become great. I loved and still love acting, but it was the social experience of working with a like-minded group of friends toward a common goal, and putting myself in uncomfortable situations which molded the freshman who set foot on Mississippi State University’s campus for the first semester.
With the ethos building out of the way, I can safely tell you the most important and beneficial thing you can do once you come to college is to get involved with whatever you are interested in. Do not hesitate to try an activity or go to an event you are pondering over attending. There are constant opportunities on campus, but many more are gone in a flash.
Service Dawgs and The Big Event, MSU’s two biggest volunteering events, were two of the best times I have experienced in college, and working at The Reflector has given me a steady flow of engaging and fulfilling work.
However, I do not mean for this to be a sales pitch for any group or activity. People should follow their own paths in college, and this means following their own interests. Volunteering and writing may not be your strong suit, but student government, club sports, theater, activism or video games might be right up your alley.
However, getting involved in and around campus is not just for fun. Purdue University found student organization officers have higher GPAs than student organization members, and student organization members have higher GPAs than uninvolved students.
Similarly, a study at Anderson University found a positive correlation between student involvement, which they define as participation in campus activities, and overall student satisfaction.
Getting involved in the city of Starkville is also extremely important. For those who plan to stay in Starkville for a while, it is not a bad idea to register to vote. With the current contention of the previous mayoral election, it is the perfect time to see how every voice matters in local elections. The Dispatch’s Alex Holloway reported only a six-vote difference in the currently contested election, so saying one vote does not matter is simply untrue. If you want to call Starkville home, you will want to be able to affect its course.
College is meant to be enjoyable. There is hardship and stress, but there is also euphoria and accomplishment. To be clear, I am not advocating anyone take on too much at once.
Gradually increase your workload and responsibilities when you feel comfortable, and do not ever feel the need to let extracurriculars compromise your academics. 
With this being said, freshman year is exciting and terrifying all at once, but the best counterbalance is having a group of people who care about you and your well-being, all while pushing you to be your best self.

About the Contributor
Dylan Bufkin
Dylan Bufkin, Former Editor-in-Chief
Dylan Bufkin served as the Editor-in-Chief of The Reflector from 2020 to 2021. He also served as the Opinion Editor from 2019 to 2020.
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The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University
Involvement on campus is crucial