Getting Involved Beyond the Classroom

Hannah Vandenberg

One week to go, friends. One week.

As we cram our final week before Spring Break full of projects, papers, exams, etc., I want to quickly remind us of the blessing of extra-curricular activity.

You may want to laugh at that, but since my return to continue my education at GVSU, I have to say that I am learning more and more the value of education outside the classroom.

During my first attempt at college I was in no way involved in anything besides what my professors required of me, and often I wouldn’t complete even those tasks. This time around, I vowed to throw myself into projects that didn’t receive grades and other extra-curricular events or activities to further my understanding of my area of study.

I had to take the initiative to find out what these would be, I had to do research, I had to (here’s the kicker) take a chance. It was out of my comfort zone and, let’s be real, most of the time I had no idea what I was getting myself into. But in the end, what I’ve gained from those experiences have taught me so much more than a two-page exam could have.

I have found these real life situations and tasks to be the ones that challenge me personally and academically, and GVSU has endless opportunities for us all to partake in something. For me, these activities were projects pertaining to my area of study – writing. Even this blog (which came about as an offer I never imagined) has taught me more than I could have expected. No matter what it is, it will push your integrity, responsibility, and knowledge. You will meet people you grow to respect, build friendships, make contacts with people who can help point you in other directions that will, again, push you to be a better you.

I genuinely think this is what college is about – pushing yourself socially, academically, and personally outside of the classroom. What you gain from these experiences is well worth every cent of tuition.