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Experiential Learning Is A Major Key: Student Involvement's Role in the College Experience

The value of experiential learning in your undergraduate collegiate career is of utmost importance to the value of your degree; student involvement is an essential piece of your collegiate experience that should be taken full advantage of throughout the course of your time learning, whether it's online or on campus. Opportunities are always floating around the community for all types of students in all of the majors and concentrations. The job market is competitive and requires prospects to have years of experience to enter a professional role. Your involvement in extracurricular activities can be translated into previous experience, especially when you undertake leadership roles and lead projects. Going to college is a major challenge that is not to be taken lightly; the level of responsibility that one has in the outcome of their experience is generally underestimated; it is up to the individual to determine the success of collegiate career. Through an understanding of your purpose for enrolling in college will help you find the most appropriate level of student involvement for you.

Whether it is a long-standing family tradition to attend a state university or it is a scholarship you have received to get an online degree, students choose certain institutions for various purposes. Are you in college simply to get a piece of paper that says, 'I know how to do this' because society (and your parents) tells you that it is necessary? Do you need that certificate in order to progress in your career? Do you want to make yourself more marketable as a professional with a double-major? How do you decide the path you must take for success? I firmly believe that college is a serious commitment and not just some commodity in a financial transaction.Tuition costs pay for much more than classroom learning. More often than not, students fail to take advantage of the plethora of resources available to them that will prepare them for the obscurity of the real-world. There is value to be added for those who want a truly immersive college experience that will give them many tangible and intangible rewards. The true value of student involvement comes in your growth as an individual and as a steward of the community. With student involvement comes extra responsibilities and challenges. These are the opportunities that allow you to apply your theory in the real world.

Your involvement may be in a microcosm on campus or an organization designed for online and commuter students that utilizes technology for engagement and interaction. Time is the most valuable thing we have as humans, and college is the best time to maximize your return on your investment of time. If you do not commit yourself to your learning experience than you are simply wasting your money. More importantly, you are spending years of your life which you cannot receive a refund of any kind. Student involvement opens up doors to the truly life-changing experiences that can develop you as a person and a professional. You make connections that force you to think differently and to think outside of the box. Your many social and professional gatherings will put you in situations that grow your interpersonal skills and improve your public speaking abilities. There will be times of adversity that reveal your character and it is through that diversity that you will encounter that you will become more confident in your own individuality. There is so much learning to be done in our lives, and student involvement in college is a unique platform that allows unthinkable ideas to turn into action and results.

You decide the outcome of your educational experience, no matter what phase you are in or what institution you are at for learning as a scholar. Real world application of theories studied can be found in student involvement. You can grow as an individual and learn more about yourself all while learning a breadth of topics that pertain to your focus and others around you that may offer you new perspectives to help you improve your approach to life. Practical experience is necessary coming out of college; you have an array of choices as to how you can accomplish your goals.