Did you know that there are over 150 UMass Boston student organizations listed online? There’s a lot of ways students can get involved on campus. And this is my opportunity to tell you that you should take advantage of them.
College isn’t just about academics. Though you are here to learn, there’s more to learn than what’s in your classes. These years are the ideal time to learn more about yourself and the world around you.
Clubs and organizations give you the ability to explore interests without having a major commitment. You can meet new people, try new things, and challenge yourself to think in different ways than you have previously. There's also the opportunity to work on certain skills—such as honing in your leadership skills by running for a student government position, deepening your faith by joining a religious group, becoming more active with the cycling club, or improving your writing skills by joining us here at the Mass Media. You might even end up with some new things to add to a resume or mention in a job interview. There’s a wide variety of reasons to get involved.
A great source for finding things to get involved with is through UMBeInvolved, the webpage for UMass Boston’s organizations and events. I’m not certain how many of the 162 listed groups are actually active or regularly active, but it’s still a great place to start! You can search by varied categories: Academic, Arts and Media, Ethnic/Cultural, Mutual Support, None, Recognized Professional Associations, Recreation, Social/Political, Spirituality, Student Centers, Student Leadership, or Umbrella (1). There’s a bit of something for everyone.
There also are options of getting involved with athletics, theater productions, or working on campus. Our athletics department has opportunities for varsity sports, group fitness classes, intramural sports, and other events open to students (2). If you prefer more creative pursuits, the performing arts department does productions each year. Auditions have already gone by for their current production (Pride & Prejudice), but it’s a fun option for future semesters (3).
Working on campus can be an ideal for many students as well. On one hand, you have the ability to make money without traveling far, especially for students who live on campus. You also have the option of gaining valuable work experience while also connecting with other students. Active students can apply for part-time positions on campus through Handshake (4).
If none of those options feel like a good fit still, you also can apply to start your own club on campus. This needs to be done during the first three weeks of a fall or spring semester and will require approval from the Undergraduate Student Senate or the Graduate Student Assembly. You’ll also need to have at least ten to fifteen interested students, including some who will hold specific offices in the club, and paperwork completed (1). Club training is provided.
There’s many ways you can become involved on campus—utilize those resources. Even if it’s just showing up for one Anime & Manga Club meeting, only to realize that it’s not really your thing, that’s fine. You still learned something about yourself and gained a new experience. On the other hand, you could end up absolutely loving it, discovering new things, and making good friends. You’ll never know unless you give it a try.