Why students should think about joining student organizations (the case study of Ola Espanola) by Tomáš Buš
Active participation in student organizations on campus is very low and is an exception rather than the norm, which I think is a shame. By being active in student organizations, one has a chance to get to know more people on campus, to improve vital skills needed for the advancement through the business world, and to create a better university atmosphere for all students.
By being active in student organizations, one has a chance to get to know more people on campus, and thus gain connections that can help one get through the 5 years of college and the business world afterwards. It is an undeniable fact that it is not completely “what you know”, and everyone who doesn’t look at the world through rose coloured lenses knows that it is to an extent “who you know”. Thus, if someone is to be successful in life, apart from experience and knowledge, he or she needs to have connections that can put him on the spotlight. By joining Ola Espanola, for example, you will have a chance to meet other students in your course and thus form support systems that can accompany you through life. Your job of a journalist of Slovakia’s only Spanish magazine will take you to Latin American embassies, to cultural events, no doubt that you will meet dozens of people!
Involvement in student organizations can also help one develop soft skills that will prove much more useful in your future career than all the cramming in the world. Many students spend hours cramming and thus have little time left for socializing or extra-curricular activities. However, by cramming alone, one will never improve skills such as team work, organization skills, creativity, or communicative skills. All of these are qualities that managers look for when they are hiring new recruits. Let’s say that a company recruits young people to serve as interpreters that will accompany its businessmen on their business trips overseas in Latin America. Applicant A spends most of his/her time cramming notes (although s/he would throw an anger tantrum if called a “grind”), gets top marks, but is lazy to do anything extracurricular. Applicant B is a student that has average grades, but has interviewed several diplomats, helped organize various social events, debates on current affairs, has written numerous articles in a university magazine and has connections all over the city. No doubt, Applicant B’s CV will be far more impressive. In Ola Espanola, one will be a part of a team that organizes things such as interviews, debates, parties, and other creative activities. It is a new organization, so the space for creativity has no limits. Many students complain that college life is boring, but in our group you can help make it what you want it to be.
Increased participation in student organizations would make college life more enjoyable and thus create a better atmosphere for all students. We need to enjoy life while we are still young. After we graduate, we will join the work force and then have a family, which will bring us more responsibilities than any one of us has now. Then we will hit the old age, which is a state of gradual, yet certain decay. We will whine about all the things we didn’t get a chance to accomplish when we were young. Hence, the people who take life way too seriously and spend their lifetime solely studying and working, without any fun or adventures, are often plagued by depression when the aging process kicks in. Just think about it, what kind of memories will a person have if their college life consists solely of cramming? Many students find the university to be a dry, faceless institution. But why not do something about it? For example, in American universities student organizations are countless; many sponsor various fun activities such as trips, get-togethers, parties etc. Students there thus love college life and feel a special pride to be a member of the Alma-Mater. We could and we want to do the same thing in Bratislava. Through Ola Espanola, we could, for example, organize a camping trip into the outdoors, where people could sing songs around the campfire all night long, roast hot dogs over the fire, forget about their problems and have a great time. Activities like this would assuage stress from school and motivate students to unleash their whole potential. What would motivate you to try harder in school? A faceless environment or a place where you would build indelible memories that will last a life time?