So, you spent all of first semester hitting the books, hanging out in the den with friends, or cruising Netflix, and now you are wondering where the time went. You also may have decided that another semester doing the same monotonous things over and over again is simply not going to cut it. With the new semester here, it is the perfect time to get involved on campus and really put your free time to good use.
One avenue to pursue is undergraduate research. Not only will this provide some much needed experience in your field of study, but it also gives you the opportunity to work with faculty members and other students who share your interests. Hands on experience is one of the best ways to learn your way in any field and can move you forward in ways that sitting in a class room cannot. The University of Wisconsin is one of the top research institutions in the nation, and taking advantage of that can have many benefits.
If experiential learning is not necessarily your preferred way to fill time between classes, clubs are also a viable option to both entertain yourself and get more immersed in on-campus activities. Although most groups have been active since the fall semester, they are always looking to recruit new members. Whether you join something specifically related to your career interest or are simply looking for a new hobby there are an incredible amount of options available to students, most of which can be found online at the Wisconsin Involvement Network. You can also find some at the Spring Student Org Fair on February 4th!
While not every organization rushes during the spring semester, most hold fundraisers and events throughout the year that can help you get acquainted with members and other students. Among these Greek organizations are the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), the governing body of all of the nation’s historically black greek organizations and Multicultural Greek Council (MGC) chapters. NPHC, as well as MGC, represent many of the multicultural sororities and fraternities on campus, and provide programming year-round that promotes involvement in UW’s campus.
Heading over to the Wisconsin Athletics Department website is another option for those of you who are not looking to devote a lot of your time every week, but still want to feel like part of the student body. With hockey and basketball in full swing, there is no better time to pick up tickets and head out to support your fellow Badgers. The community atmosphere of the student section is unrivaled and will surely get you into the spirit of the game.
The easiest way to find out what is going down nearby is to read your email. It is easy to check messages from the various clubs, organizations, and administration for deletion, but it is beneficial to stop and read through the subject headers just to get a sense of what you could be missing out on. Especially if you live on campus, most of these emails will have information on free events throughout the month that could have you and your friends interacting with people you had never thought to meet.
Getting involved on campus is not as difficult as it might seem. There is always something going on, whether it is hosted by an organization or through university housing. If you take the time to look around and seek out activities catered to your interests, you can truly take advantage of this semester.