Why It's Never Too Late to Get Involved

By Kaitlin Hurtado on January 26, 2019

Everyone’s college experiences will vary greatly. People will take different classes or choose to live in different areas. Some will spend all of their time studying in the library, while others will bounce between different buildings to make it to different meetings. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to go about shaping your college experience because everyone’s college experience is ultimately the one they are going to remember for the rest of their lives. There are the “typical” tropes associated with the college experience: Greek life, all-nighters during exam week, sleeping in until you miss class, sitting in an empty classroom only to realize class was actually canceled. All these contribute to the image of a “typical” college experience, but may not actually shape up to look anywhere near yours, and that is okay.

One thing that greatly contributes to many college students’ college experience is the ability to get involved while in college and choosing how you want to get involved for yourself. You may be one year into your college endeavors, or you may be a semester away from your graduation date, but it is never too late to get involved. Getting involved can give you much-needed experience or get you friends that you are going to keep long after you leave your college years behind. Getting involved does not start and end during your first welcome week, there is always the opportunity to get involved and make your college experience even more memorable. If you are thinking that it is too late to start getting involved, read on to find out why it is never too late to get involved.

people facing the ocean

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Think of the time you have left rather than the time you “wasted” 

The thought process behind thinking it is too late to get involved most likely stems from you thinking about all the time you lost out on. This can be a missed semester when you wanted to focus strictly on academics during your first year, or that you spent three years focusing on academic classes and work without bothering to sign up for a single club. However, spending even more time thinking about the time you “wasted” is even more missed time that you can spend getting involved. Instead, focus on the time you still have left in your college experience.

You can have plenty of years, months, or even weeks to start your new journey to getting involved. It just matters that you actually have time. Time to search for an involvement that you genuinely enjoy and get fulfillment from. Time to participate in the involvement. Time to make friends and network. It is similar to thinking of the glass half empty versus half full. If you look at the glass half empty, you are going to be fixated on what you cannot have and what you cannot get back. When you look at the glass half full, you are able to appreciate the amount you have left and figure out how to best use it. This can be applied to your mindset about getting involved. When you think about the time you still have left, you can appreciate the opportunity you still have to get involved in the way you want to.

You can make friends in a short amount of time

Even if you think that the time you have left is not enough to truly get involved, it is still enough time to meet friends you can keep after you graduate from college. Think about a friend you have made in a class and kept in touch with, you may have seen them once or twice a week for a few months, but you still managed to keep in contact enough to consider them a friend. the same can be said for getting involved and making friends.

If you are joining an extracurricular, you may be joining one because it involves something you are heavily interested in: a filmmaking club, religious group, etc. The people already involved are going to be interested in the same exact thing, giving you something to build a friendship on without having to fish around. Even if you do not have much time left in your college career, the time you spend being involved and making friends with those involved can continue past your graduation. Your bond can be enough to carry your involvement past the “end” of your college experience.

It really is never too late to get involved and make the most out of your college career. Whether you are nearing the end of your first year, or just starting out on your last semester in college, you still have time to get involved in the things you have been thinking about. Take advantage of the time that you do have left and start getting involved!

By Kaitlin Hurtado

Uloop Writer
Hello! I'm Kaitlin, a fourth year Literary Journalism major at UC Irvine. I'm a writer on Uloop's national team and a campus editor for UCI.

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