By Bridie McArthur
For too long, being ‘involved’ at school has had not-so-great connotations — usually that of overachiever, teacher’s pet, nerd, even. Two things about that:
There is nothing wrong with falling under those descriptors.
Immersing yourself in your school community, being ‘involved’, is one of the best things you can do for yourself during your schooling years.
It can be very teenager-y to want to isolate or distance yourself to seem cool and indifferent, not too eager or enthusiastic; however, eager and enthusiastic are absolutely not dissonant with being cool, and being an active part of your school’s community allows you to connect and foster deeper relationships with your peers, gives you a built-in support network, and is an important form of socialisation. Involving yourself in your school’s community sphere builds empathy, especially with charity- and external community help-based events and committees, and also allows you access to opportunities to make friends, learn, and make a difference on a local and further level.
Now that I’ve convinced you to get involved, here are a few easy and rewarding ways.
Join committees and clubs
Your school will likely have an array of committees and clubs to choose from; mine has the Vinnies committee, sustainability committee, social justice committee, Youth Ministry, etc. Choose one (or a few!) that interest you and get involved with a group of people as impassioned about an area as you are.
Play school or team sport
Even if you’re not a typical ‘sporty’ person, playing school/team sport can be a fun and active way to involve yourself in the school community, and make friends. There’s a sport for everyone! Maybe a dance class/team, school netball or soccer or basketball could be your thing.
Volunteering allows you to give back to your community — whether that be time, energy, or donations. Help out with charity events, drives, collections, or sign up for mentoring.
The easiest way to immerse yourself in your school community is to take advantage of the opportunities to do so that already exist. Put your hand up, put your name down, and say yes when you find out about events held by your school.
Being an active member of your school community requires the opposite of indifference — eagerness and enthusiasm are key ingredients. Being eager and enthusiastic is a good thing. It’s time to become better connected, supported, and empathetic — so get involved!