SMCC is full of extremely busy students. Most of us work, have families, and other various responsibilities in addition to our classes. We are driven, motivated, responsible, busy people. One thing that most of us don’t have is time. The parking lot to classroom to parking lot rut is an easy one to get stuck in. We have all heard about the benefits of being involved in campus activities, but many of us still choose to only show up for classroom activities because we are too busy. It is my assertion, though, that you don’t have enough time to NOT participate.
I’ve been a college freshman for the last 18 years. I have dropped out of 5 different colleges 5 separate times. This is my sixth try, and finally, I’ve been able to make it past my first semester. The key difference this; my 6th attempt, at higher education is participating in groups on campus. I did not intend to be involved in any campus clubs or groups when I enrolled at SMCC. I work full-time, take 9 credits, and have a family, but I needed to complete a service-learning project for one of my classes, so I joined a club to satisfy that requirement.
It was difficult to fit the time into my schedule at first, but then this completely fantastic and unexpected thing happened. When I started to get overwhelmed, and wanted to throw in the towel yet again, I had all of these fantastic people around me for the first time in my commuter student experience. I had invested time in the group, and they had invested in me, and my success. For me, being involved in something bigger than myself was the real difference. If I hadn’t gotten involved, I would have been a 6 time college drop-out instead of on a solid path to graduation.