Living in the dorms is great. It’s basically like living in a hotel for eight months with your best friends with no parents to tell you what to do (RAs not included). In the residence halls, you have a place where you can hang out and watch Netflix or play video games, or focus on your schoolwork and get things done. It really is the complete package.

However, if you simply spend all of your time in your dorm, you’re missing out on many activities and opportunities that enhance your college experience. Here are a few reasons to get out of your dorm (and actually get involved):

1. You’ll meet people.

College is an amazing place to meet people, no doubt. Here, you have a unique opportunity to spend about three-quarters of the year with your peers, learning together, growing together, and sharing experiences together. Getting out of your dorm and actually doing something outside of schoolwork (and watching Netflix) is a great way to connect with your classmates and people that you may not normally meet. Who knows what kind of people you’ll get to know and what kind of doors it will open?

2. You’ll find interests you didn’t know you had.

I never thought that I would enjoy being a part of a radio production, as it’s never been an interest of mine. However, I gave it a try when a friend invited me on his campus radio show, and now I’m a co-host and have a blast every time we go on air. Whether it’s attending a sporting event that you normally don’t watch or joining a club or activity you’ve never considered before, going out and joining things on and off campus is a great way to discover what appeals to you and what interests you didn’t know you had.

3. You get to take a break from your normal routine.

I’ve found that in college, maybe even more so than other places, it is very easy to fall into a monotonous pattern where you’re doing the same thing every day. This is especially true if you spend the majority of your time in your dorm room. I’ve been there, I’ve lived it. There’s no better way to avoid a boring college career than by joining clubs and attending activities. I’ve also been there, and it’s much more fun.

4. It can help you prepare for your future.

Before my junior year, the only extracurricular activity I participated in was baseball. Though baseball is a central part of my college experience, I found that I wasn’t doing other things to actively prepare for my postgrad life. In the last two years, I’ve joined four other clubs, organizations, and activities and also got an on-campus job in my major field. Because of my involvement in these activities, I’ve gained valuable experience and insight that’s really helped me prepare for my future after graduation.

5. You can make a difference.

One of the most rewarding parts of leaving your dorm to get involved is the impact you get to make on campus. People that join the Student Government Association get to make daily decisions that impact everyone at Concordia. When joining a club that pertains to your major, you get to engage with people with the same interests as you, and provide your unique input for events and activities. Many of these clubs also do things outside of campus and make a difference in the community. No matter what you decide to join, the opportunity to make an impact is there.

Living in the dorms is awesome. It’s a unique blend of a productive space and a place to simply kick back and relax. However, when you go out and seek opportunities to make a difference on campus, they will open up to you. At Concordia, we are taught to BREW (Become Responsibly Engaged in the World). By getting out of your dorm (and actually getting involved), you become responsibly engaged on campus and in your community. Who knows what opportunities you will find?

Published January 2018