Student involvement vital to college experience

Ellen Holmes

I may have chosen my major and minor a little later than typically advised.

Ellen Holmes
Ellen Holmes

Even as I worked hard to maintain good grades and stay a step ahead, I felt as if there was more I should be doing.

Finally I’ve come to realize that I used my lack of familiarity with academics as an excuse to be a step behind my peers, when it really should have driven me to become more involved outside the classroom.

While it’s almost a preconceived notion that joining any academic club will result in a reputation similar to that of a Mathlete straight out of Mean Girls, in reality all it can do is benefit your education.

I began sporadically writing for The North Wind fall of my junior year, simply to improve and expand my resumé.

I was involved, but only at a distance.

I never had a physical presence in story planning meetings or hung around the newsroom to help fellow writers with their articles. Only sitting at my computer and e-mailing an article or two a month to whoever my editor was on the other side of the screen.

Now just by making a weekly appearance in the office, I’ve come to see how much can be gained from putting an hour or two toward extended learning each week.

As I approach my last semester this coming fall, I’m recognizing how influential it is to respectively put yourself out in your field of study.

Why hadn’t I done this before?

I suppose I had believed an internship might be too overbearing for my first or second year of college.

In reality everything that I have learned from my involvement at the North Wind and my current marketing internship has had little to do with was taught in my past four years of classes.

Even by just taking baby steps into my fields of study by becoming involved with a student organization would have made a world of difference as I continued through my education.

Becoming a part of these clubs would have not only allowed me to learn who my future group partners and classmates would be, but also those who would assist in making my next step towards using my education in the workplace.

More importantly, getting involved early on would have provided a better understanding of what goes on behind the scenes in the journalism and business industry.

A crucial step before diving into thousands of dollars’ worth of classes.

Graphic design students are encouraged to be a part of the NMU chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) and the pre-vet club is open to all students who have an interest in animal science.

Honestly, I would be surprised if someone had a major that did not have an academically related group for students to expand their studies outside the classroom.

With an expansive amount of academically related groups focused on catering to all types of students, you can’t go wrong with a least giving one of two of them a try.

To view a list of the academically related student organizations at NMU visit