Students at UNH are primarily enrolled at this university to take classes and earn a degree. While there is no doubt that the majority of a student’s learning takes place during class time—in a lecture hall, lab or a field-site somewhere on or off campus—a significant amount of learning also takes place outside of the classroom in social settings.

But even with a full class schedule, it is not uncommon for students to find that they have plenty of free time for extracurricular activities. The best thing a student can do to enhance his or her experience on campus is find a club or student organization he or she is interested in joining, and get as involved as possible. 

When most people think of social settings at UNH, their minds probably begin to construct images of students mingling at a raging house party, sipping $2 drinks at one of the bars downtown, or standing in line for chicken fingers, wraps and pizza slices coated in ‘Freddy Sauce’ at CampCo around 1 a.m. on a weekend night. For many students, these settings are fun and have some value in terms of giving students the opportunity to learn how to balance the stresses of a heavy class-load with having a good time on the weekends. But by joining an organization, students can benefit from doing things they’d be more likely to tell their relatives about over holiday breaks.

Fortunately, UNH boasts over 300 different student organizations. This number comprises of a variety of sports teams, publications, interest groups, philanthropic organizations and plenty more. Information about each group, meeting times, and rosters for each organization can be found at WildcatLink.unh.edu. With so many organizations to choose from, the odds are astronomically high that students will be able to find something of interest.

Students have the ability to use their organization to gain experience in a variety of ways. For example, serving as an organization’s president or treasurer provides experience in managing time and money. Collaborating with students in other organizations and dealing with people both inside and outside of the group is a worthwhile experience. Citing a philanthropic event that raised thousands for charity to an employer would be an impressive conversation point to have handy at a job interview. Even if the organization doesn’t have a strictly civic purpose, being a part of a group of students with similar interests and values can be a positive way to share ideas both relevant to the organization and otherwise. Many students also find it refreshing.

Although it may be more difficult for students who work or commute to school to be involved, finding the time for membership in an organization is well-worth the extra effort. Being a member of a student organization can make the UNH experience holistic and provide experiences otherwise unattainable from merely attending class. Older generations have painted ours as technology-dependent robots incapable of socializing constructively. Let’s prove them wrong.