With the start of another school year and a fresh crop of incoming freshmen, this is the time that college students are inundated with messages concerning possibilities of how they can potentially spend their time at school. From the Greeks to the gamers, student organizations are trumpeting the opportunity to get involved in extracurricular activities that will supplement the academic material that students learn in the classroom (and yes, The Lamron is as guilty as any).
The notion behind these organizations' existence, and one that is frequently expressed to students, is that college is a time for more than simply academic development. This is undoubtedly the truth, as student organizations offer students great opportunities for social and professional development while allowing students to positively contribute to campus life.
What students should keep in mind, however, is that despite the importance of social development outside the classroom, the instruction one can receive in the classroom setting is simply invaluable. It is very easy for enthusiastic students to lose sight of this fact in the face of the nearly-overwhelming message of the importance of "getting involved."
Overexertion in the realm of out-of-classroom activities is a real possibility. The result of this, of course, can be one's primary interest shifting away from academics to outside commitments. This can potentially lead a student to absorb little in the classroom, defeating the primacy purpose of coming to a college like Geneseo: academic development. And while involvement in clubs look great on a resume, it can never make up for the academic learning which one will undoubtedly utilize in some fashion in their chosen career.
The other significant deterrent from academic development, of course, is extreme partying. While of course it's fun to joke about the wink followed by the "don't drink too much" message freshmen traditional receive from parents or older siblings, the power of such behavior to scuttle an academic and potentially an entire professional career is extremely high.
Simply put: Remember why you're here. Get out there and get involved with campus activities, but let your academic enthusiasm and development be the tools through which you'll offer your unique resources to organizations. Striking the correct balance between activities both in and out of the classroom is imperative to making the most of a college career at Geneseo.
On that note: Lamron meetings are every Thursday at 5:30 p.m. in our office in the Union mailroom. Come on down.