College is an exciting time in one’s life. No matter where you go, there’s always a swarm of activities happening. The world is at your fingertips, and as college only lasts for a finite amount of time, there’s plenty of ways to make it worthwhile. Whether you’re in your first year or your fourth, there’s always something new to do or try out. Here are ways to get involved as an active student on campus.
Participate in your classes
The most obvious key to success in college is going to class, and while most people do, you should take full advantage of what you are paying for. Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask questions during lessons. You’re spending your valuable time and money on school, so you should try to engage with the material and take good notes. Not only will you learn from your professors, but from your peers as well. In discussion-based classes, you can make friends by contributing new ideas during group conversations, possibly making difficult courses more bearable in the process. Get to know other students in your major and make connections with them as well.
Find a job or internship
Everyone wants to earn a little extra money or gain valuable real-world job experience (or both!). There’s a wide variety of jobs available on campus in locations like the library, the bookstore and Markin to help you do just that. There are also multiple options for jobs on or around campus that would be of interest to people of all majors. For places to start, check with your department or look into the upcoming Fall Job and Internship Fair at the Renaissance Coliseum on Sept. 22. Internships help you gain experience with a real-world employer, which is outstanding to put on your resume while you are still in college. Most internships can double as a way to earn college credits, and the Smith Career Center and Bradley NetWORK are great resources to help look for those opportunities.
Checking your email
In college, your email is a vital form of communication. Professors will frequently send important updates on subjects like assignments and class activity. No one wants to wake up for their 9 a.m. class only to discover that it has been canceled after they have already walked to the classroom. Clubs and organizations update those who are interested in joining about their different meeting times and events almost exclusively via email. While using your email is crucial to classes and joining clubs, it’s also important to do so for different job and internship opportunities. Many times, employers on and off campus communicate with students through email about interviews, job openings and more. Don’t miss out on good opportunities by not checking your email.
Go to athletic events
Sports at Bradley are a must-see. As a Division 1 school in the Missouri Valley Conference, the Braves are competitive and our athletes are highly-skilled. You can go with your friends (or even make new friends at the stadium), get in for free with your student ID, possibly tailgate and have a grand time. If you’re a true fan, you can join the Red Sea and improve your experience tenfold. It’s a surreal feeling watching someone score a goal in front of hundreds of fans and then seeing them in class the next day, so get out there and support our teams. Wouldn’t you like to see the Braves men’s basketball team play in the Peoria Civic Center? What about seeing the baseball team in a minor league ballpark? Both of those and much more are possible here at Bradley.
Although some may say that Peoria is a dud of a town, those people simply haven’t looked hard enough. While there are plenty of good restaurants near campus, students — especially first-years — should be aware that there is more to the River City than the “Bradley Bubble.” As the moniker would suggest, the Riverfront is full of small businesses, restaurants and picturesque scenery. But wait, there’s more. The downtown area isn’t the only thing that Peoria has to offer. For varied consumer experiences, try Northwoods Mall or the Shoppes of Grand Prairie.
Get involved with intramurals
Interested in getting together with some friends and playing your favorite sports but are not super-competitive? Try the wide range of intramural sports that Bradley offers! Whether you’re into bringing football back to Bradley’s campus, or just want to tag-team a game of bags, there are countless options of different sports to try. Most sports also offer different leagues based on competitiveness level, with “A” being the highest, and “C” often being the lowest. In addition, Bradley offers options for male and female teams, along with a co-ed option as well. Don’t have a team? No problem! You can sign up as a free agent interested in playing, and teams can invite you to join theirs. If you’re hesitant at all, try one out and get in on the fun.
Attend club meetings
Chances are that if you went to the activities fair, you signed up for more than a few clubs. Getting caught up in the excitement of the day can leave your calendar booked and inbox flooded. If all of the commitment becomes overwhelming, pick one club to stick with. As one of the main ways to meet new people outside of class, making regular appearances at meetings is a sure way to expand your social circle. Plus, clubs are a great way to nourish hobbies, passions and interests outside of your major.
Try everything from this list!
The final piece of advice that The Scout can offer you is perhaps the most important of all: go out and try our tips! All seven of the tips you’ve read start with the choice to be proactive. Your time on the Hilltop can fly by, and when it comes to on-campus activity, this time is as eventful or as nondescript as you choose to make it. To get the most well-rounded Bradley student experience, we recommend you try out as many of these tips as you can, but also listen to your intuition about which ones fit your schedule and, more importantly, resonate with you. The value of time management is a lesson that you will undoubtedly learn here, so keeping where you want to devote your time in mind now will help you put your best foot forward in getting involved.