OPINION | Student involvement is crucial for success

There are many different options for students to become involved on campus. Being involved helps make the college experience even better. Annie Sorensen | Sun News Daily

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It is essential for college students to feel they belong on campus because the more involved and included they feel on campus, the more successful they will be academically.

An education website discussed research proving extracurricular activity involvement at school positively correlates with student’s test scores, attendance and positive educational outcomes. 

Extracurricular activities have pushed me to see I have the motivation to do whatever I put my mind to. Some extracurricular activities I have participated in need me to attend a certain percentage of classes and maintain a specific grade point average. I have noticed when I am feeling involved and need to meet standards, I push myself to succeed and have the ability to get the grades and test scores I want.

A study done by Bartko and Eccles in 2003 stated, “Participation in sports and artistic activities predicts an increase of self-efficacy in academic competence, so extracurriculars provides a context in which students can face and overcome challenges and increase the level of their skill, thus building trust.”

All activities have a part where teamwork, leadership and responsibility are a part of the commitment. Working together with others and refining core values is essential to a person’s growth and development. 

At Utah Tech University, there are many ways to become a part of something bigger than just a study group for a class. To name a few, there are sports teams, clubs and the Utah Tech Student Association. There are leadership positions available for all of these extracurriculars and some even offer scholarships.

I am very involved on campus; however, it was not always that way. I knew I wanted to be involved when I started attending college, but I didn’t know how and what resources there were. I wanted to feel like I fit in, but I did not know the process. 

When I was accepted in spring 2022 to Utah Tech, I felt nervous to reach out and make friends. I struggled to attend classes my first semester and fell behind very quickly. About halfway through the semester, my co-worker encouraged me to participate in the D-Queen Competition. I knew I wasn’t a pageant type girl, but I went to the meeting to learn more about the opportunity. I decided I wanted to compete in the pageant. 

This affected my whole spring semester at Utah Tech because I met so many new people, and I pushed myself to succeed academically. If I wanted to continue with being involved, it was crucial that I have good grades to participate.

The D-Queen Competition had a grading section on student involvement and service. I needed a resume for this. That led me to get more involved on campus because I wanted to get a high score in this category of the competition. At the end of the competition, I made my best friends and was awarded as Miss Congeniality.

The experience of building a resume based on student involvement and community service allowed me to gain knowledge on others and how to interact with different types of people. In school, I have many differences from other students, but when coming together as a group of people equally, it makes attending school more enjoyable and passing classes a little easier.

My first idea to get involved was to look on Blazerlink to learn about what clubs I was interested in joining. I joined the LGBTQ+ Student Organization and Psychology Club. I was excited to attend meetings and events. Student government always sounded fascinating to me too, so I knew I wanted to also get involved in UTSA. Thus, I got involved with the student government volunteer team, Code Red.

I noticed when I started putting myself out there and meeting new people, I wanted to attend my classes, and I wanted to be academically successful. If I never would have gotten involved at school, I don’t think I would still be attending Utah Tech. I am so grateful for the opportunities I had to get involved and connect with people on campus. It makes school exciting and a place I want to be.

Every student should get involved and put themselves out there to meet new people. It can be scary getting involved, but it is possible to find a niche of people and feel a sense of belonging on campus.

This year I am more involved than I have ever been in school. I am a full-time student, the Vice President of the LGBTQ+ Student Organization, a volunteer for entertainment events on the Code Red team, and a multimedia reporter for Sun News Daily.

When participating and holding these positions, I noticed my grades have been higher than when I started college. I hold myself to a better standard as well because I know I am capable of doing hard things. While school is something I struggle with, I know I have the support, friends and extracurriculars to keep me motivated. 

I highly recommend all students to get involved at Utah Tech. There is so much to offer that can fit anyone’s lifestyle and schedule. Being involved helped me feel a sense of belonging and connection on campus which every college student deserves to feel.