When students first enter university, they may obtain a sense of belonging quickly or they may become so lost and confused they fail to find a place to fit into. As I used to be a freshman myself, I didn’t know a lot of people when I first came to university. All my friends from high school went to different post secondary institutions or were in different faculties so it was difficult to make time to see them. It was my first time living on my own in a such a big community where I was surrounded by many unfamiliar faces.
However, I realized there was a solution to this overwhelming situation. I figured out that joining a club can help alleviate the emptiness a student can feel. As I joined clubs, I experienced that sense of belonging. Also, I soon came to realize that club members were family-like. We took care of each other and would eat, study and spend time together. Furthermore, becoming a member of a club develops a student’s character. It encourages them to work hard on things other than school assignments. Becoming a well rounded person includes being able to do other things while in school. Moreover, people get to gain experiences they usually cannot find in the classroom. One of the clubs that I am in helps members gain skills in cold calling companies, which is something not typically done in a classroom setting. Through my clubs, I began to develop my leadership skills and create new abilities that I did not know I could ever have the courage to do if it weren’t for their support.
Clubs help students to understand themselves in terms of what they are capable of and what new skills they can develop. They can also realize what kind of crowd they belong to and who their friends are. Becoming a member of a club is a great way for university students to get on track if they are ever lost or lonely. Joining one club may be enough to help a student figure out what group they belong to, but joining several groups to see which club a student feels most comfortable with is a better solution. As I joined several clubs to see which one I felt I fit in the most, I really enjoyed AIESEC’s goal of sending students on internships and their ability to help build a student’s leadership skills. AIESEC made me feel like I am part of a family as we gather often and go on social events. If there are students out there still trying to figure out what kind of group they belong to and what path to take in the future, I recommend them to try becoming a member of AIESEC.
By Judy Park, Marketing and Communications