Student Life

How can University Clubs Help Your Student Succeed?

If a university education were all about book learning, parents and students alike could save a lot of money by studying at home and learning on their own. The truth is that a college education is often as much about the experiences gained and the connections made as it is about classes and lectures.

Perhaps that is why university clubs and activities play such a prominent role in academic life. University clubs help students develop those key experiences. They teach young people how to think critically, make decisions for themselves, and learn from those who have traveled the same path years earlier. The nature of those clubs and available activities will vary from institution to institution, and joining in can be a real enhancement to a college career. Parents often want to encourage their sons and daughters to take advantage of these unique opportunities, but it can be difficult for young people to grasp how valuable those university clubs — and the connections they provide —really are.

There are a number of ways parents can encourage their young college students to seek out, join and participate in university clubs and activities on campus. As with most things, there is no one right answer for everyone. No one knows your child like you do, and you are the only one who can determine the right motivation.

Role Models

One good place to start is with role models in the field your student is studying. Think about the heroes and role models in your son or daughter’s chosen field of study. Is there a particular physician, veterinarian, attorney, journalist, etc. that he or she looks up to? If so, do some research and find out which clubs and associations those individuals participated in during their own college careers. Share those findings with your student and encourage her to follow in their accomplished footsteps.

Careers

Chances are your son or daughter is concerned about their ability to land a job when those years of college are over. Being a member of an academic club during their university years can greatly improve the odds of landing a prestigious internship, and a job. You may not be able to force your son or daughter to join the accounting club or the physics club, but you do have some influence as a parent.

You can start by doing your own homework into how these clubs can enhance the classes your son or daughter is taking. It can be tough to make it through some of those college courses, and membership in an academic club can be the perfect way to reinforce those long university lectures. Showing your son or daughter how an academic club membership can make studying easier (and more effective) will go a long way.

When you send your student off to college, you want him to experience everything that campus life has to offer, from traditional classes and online learning opportunities to extracurricular activities, sports and recreational opportunities. University clubs and activities can provide fun learning opportunities, important professional connections with many seen and unseen benefits.

Encourage the college student in your life to take advantage of those opportunities and it will enhance your student’s future career, enrich the college experience, and give her a great chance of post-college success.

Did you enjoy reading this article? Sign up for UniversityParent’s weekly eNewsletter for additional tips and advice to help your college student succeed. You can also add to the discussion and get feedback from fellow college parents by joining our College Parents’ Facebook group.

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