Maytinee Kramer/ Assistant Opinion Director
Most students go to college to learn, but they will quickly learn that there is more to the college experience than the classroom. College offers students opportunities to pursue interests, but sadly, too many college students pass up some of the opportunities offered because they are too focused on either their academic life or their work life. Students should know that taking part in extracurriculars will help them develop skills that will be useful inside and outside of the class.
At FIU, there are all sorts of student councils, organizations and clubs on campus, and there are so many people who have a common purpose or shared duties. Aside from the plethora of opportunity, getting involved on campus offers so many significant benefits that will make the college experience so much better.
It’s a lot of hard work to create a club, and even more to keep a club going, but FIU’s Japan Club continues to prove how successful it is. Miguel Rischmaui, a senior double majoring in computer science and asian studies, and also the president of the Japan Club, said that the Japan Club was originally formed many years ago by students who had an interest in Japanese culture.
“Throughout the years, the club has taken many paths, but with each new group of students that take charge of the club, [the] Japan Club evolves and becomes unique. Each group leading it is different than the previous, but the heart of Japan Club stays the same,” Rischmaui said.
Joining a student organization presents many opportunities to learn more about yourself, your goals and your strengths. Having participated in numerous Asia specific events, I learned that I have a passion for studying Asia. This passion eventually led me to take Japanese language classes and double major in Asian Studies.
Another great benefit is the ability to learn to work with a team of like minded people. Stephanie Sosa, a senior majoring in Chemistry, took part in the Asia Immersion Day last semester performing taiko drums, a type of Japanese drum, with a group of students.
Having never learned the drums before, she said “It was exciting to learn something new related to the culture I’m studying.
It was also fun to work as a team and help one another improve to give a great performance. It helped build soft skills and team skills, but best of all, I was able to have lots of fun. However, I wish there were more events like this. There are so many cool things to learn and showcase [about Japan], and I’d like to see more events highlight the country I am studying about.”
Getting involved on campus further allows students to become connected to their school and fellow peers. Colleges are full of resources, but the responsibility is on the student to seek them out. One such student did just that, and the Korean Culture Club was born. The original Korean Culture Club president first contacted FIU to find out the process of starting a new organization and found an adviser to oversee the full project. From then on, the club has been actively promoting the organization and taking part in CSO delegated activities to provide Korean culture to the FIU community.
Briana Nelson-Canty, a senior majoring in communication arts and the current president of the Korean Culture Club, has had the opportunity to to work and communicate with a diverse group of individuals through the club.
She said, “Through KCC, I have had the opportunity to meet and work with individuals outside of FIU that work in the community that are directly related to Korean Culture in South Florida.”
In addition, her position as president of the Korean Culture Club has helped her build leadership skills.
“As president of a university organization, it is your responsibility to make sure all things fall into place. Whether it’s planning meeting or events, filing for funding or any other documentation, it is my responsibility. So, having this position has allowed me to not only take on responsibility, but it also has taught me to take on responsibility effectively.”
She also discovered that she is a risk taker, but through taking risks, she was able to join an organization she loves and worked hard to obtain her current position as president.
According to Nelson-Canty, the Korean Culture Club itself provides insight to the lifestyle and traditions of South Korean culture. The club holds general meetings once a month and shares the knowledge that the members gained through study, travel and communication. Members of the club also volunteered for community service events such as the Nourish the Children of North Korea.
By being involved in the things happening at FIU, Panthers can experience tremendous benefits to their college experience and future career. There should always be a balance between a student’s academic and extracurricular activities and attending activities on campus are important for one’s well-being.
The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of Panther Press Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.
Photo taken from Flickr.