Student organizations and activities are a great way to make friends, gain experience, make connections, and spice up your resume. I am involved with the Campus Activities Board, the New Hampshire Outing Club, and the SIC’em (Student Involvement Card) team. I also participate in myriad other events on campus including intramurals, fitness classes, hockey game chants, and the student admissions representatives program. And – last but not least– blogging for UNH Tales! Although this means that I don’t have a lot of free time between my activities and my homework, I enjoy the work I do with student organizations. They have allowed me to grow as a person and leader. Leadership roles I have taken in PAWS (Pre-Orientation Adventure for Wildcats) and through the MUB Leadership Camp program (best week ever!) have also taught me skills for leading others.
Last fall I was a co-chair for CAB’s Stress Relief, an event held on the reading day of every semester to help students de-stress, have fun, and prepare for finals. Unfortunately, planning such a large event acts more as a stressor for the student planning it than a de-stressor, especially since it falls right before finals. Although I had planned smaller CAB events before, Stress Relief was on a different scale due to its larger budget and the amount of planning it took to have everything follow the timeline we had set. I spent the weeks and months before the event emailing massage therapists, making calls to nearby companies to compare bouncy house prices, discussing food options with dining, and making sure the event was properly approved by the Student Activity Fee Committee. Stress Relief was Disney themed, and I feel like I have a greater knowledge of Disney lore than I held even as a kid. As the event drew closer, I frantically wrote chalk messages in classrooms and hung up posters around campus in an effort to raise attendance. And, when the night finally arrived, I breathed a sigh of relief as I saw hundreds of happy and hopefully de-stressed students file in and out of the Granite State Room. Planning an event takes extreme organization and an ability to direct others politely but firmly. After Stress Relief, I noticed a confidence in myself that may not have been there before. This past summer, as I was coordinating volunteers for my internship with a non-profit group, I felt some of my Stress Relief experience return to me as I confidently made phone calls and emails to people three times my age.
If you want to get involved at UNH there are infinite ways to do so. Asking friends about their involvement can be a great start. For more direction, it’s never a bad idea to attend an event you like and talk to someone from the organization – almost every student will be happy to give you more info about joining their respective group. The Office of Student Involvement and Leadership, located on the first floor of the MUB, is also a good start to learn more about student organizations.
UNH has been working on spreading the word about another database of student organization information on Wildcat Link, which has descriptions and contact information for all the student organizations on campus. If you liked what I described in terms of the Campus Activities Board, “like” CAB UNH on Facebook and feel free to come to meetings at 7 pm on Tuesdays on the third floor of the MUB! Any involvement is beneficial, and I challenge all of you to take a step out of your comfort zones and try something new at UNH!