My Union College experience was shaped by the people who took the extra step to include a quiet guy like me in their community, like my freshman year resident assistant (RA). He bought griddles every Sunday and all the guys on our floor ate breakfast together. If anything could get me out of my room, it was the smell of pancakes.
Don’t cheat yourself out of an education by staying in your room. Classes and homework are just part of college. It’s when you get to know people and see the world through their diverse perspectives that you really start to learn.
The greatest lessons Union taught me are about community: the power of working together and how to build the positive, supportive network I want to be part of.
I’m still an introvert, but I learned I don’t have to be the life of the party to make friends and contribute to the Union experience. Now I’m a senior, president of the Associated Student Body and a varsity basketball player. It’s my turn to give people a reason to leave their rooms, get to know their neighbors and classmates, and build their community.
Extracurricular activities make a difference in your education
- Earn better grades. According to national studies, students who participate in on-campus activities get better grades and are less likely to drop out. According to the National Survey of Student Engagement, Union College students participate in campus activities at a much higher rate than their peers at other schools.
- Find friends. At Union, you’re not the only new kid. About 70 percent of our students are from outside of Nebraska, meaning students come from all over the world and are open to making new friends.
- Avoid the “Freshman 15.” Far too many students pack on pounds in college. Intramurals, varsity sports and Saturday night events provide physical activity and stress relief, both keys to weight loss and overall wellbeing.
- Become a leader. At Union, there are so many leadership positions for students: in clubs, teams, ministries, the residence halls … literally everywhere on campus. These leadership roles are great for building your resume, but they also develop the skills of both leading and constructive following, and are key to finding your calling.
- Have fun! ASB and Student Services plan events for every Saturday night, such as ice skating, cardboard boat races, lip sync battles, bubble soccer and much more.