Christy Burger: Getting involved

By Christy Burger.  Posted January 24, 2014.

When I was in my undergrad career, I spent a lot of time involved in various clubs and activities on and off of campus. Like most undergraduate students, I was concerned about building up my résumé. Now that I am in graduate school, I have noticed that most of my fellow students only come to campus for their classes and/or research.  We tend to be so busy with balancing home and school life that we forget to get involved. This lack in community involvement can lead to a severe feeling of being disconnected between graduate students and school.

Why get involved?

  • It is good for you.
    • There are various physical and mental rewards to being involved in a community. Being involved in the community can be a good stress reliever. It lets you change your focus to something other than your studies. Sometimes a good distraction can help you refocus and gain a new perspective on a problem at hand.
    • Being involved can also have health benefits. It can impact your mood and emotions. People that are in higher spirits tend to have healthier immune systems.
  • It brings people together.
    Community involvement is a great way to network and get to know people. It brings together people with similar interests from diverse backgrounds to work toward a common cause. It also helps build social skills and teamwork.
  • It can help you gain professional experience.
    Community involvement that is related to your field of study can help you in the future when looking for jobs. The experiences may aid you in answering tough interview questions. 
  • It promotes personal growth and self esteem.
    You learn a lot about yourself when you are helping others.  It can also help you understand empathy and self-efficacy.
  • It strengthens that community.
    Supporting the community helps the community support you.

Various departments around campus have clubs for their graduate students. In addition to interdepartmental clubs, the UNL GSA (Graduate Student Association) is always looking for new members who wish to get involved!