Being involved has been a part of your student’s educational experience for many years and that won’t change once they arrive at William & Mary! Student Leadership Development is here to support meaningful involvement and leadership development.
We encourage students to consider the QUALITY of involvements vs. the QUANTITY of involvements. With nearly 500 student organizations and involvement opportunities, it can be very easy for a student to overcommit. Rather than being overcommitted and overwhelmed, we hope that students will choose meaningful involvement.
As your student thinks about how they want to get involved, some effective reflection questions include:
- What do you care about? (People, places, causes, events, trends, cultures, etc.)
- What skills, knowledge or interests do you want to develop?
- What energizes you or restores your well-being?
- What is something new and interesting that you would like to explore?
- What is something that might advance your academic or professional interests?
After reflecting on these questions, encourage your student to look at TribeLink; this online resource includes an events calendar and the directory of student organizations. They can search TribeLink to identify events and organizations that align with their interests.
Two concepts related to involvement and leadership development that we promote are “Depth over Breadth” and “No Title Needed.” These concepts might be a shift from how students have approached involvement and leadership in the past.
Depth Over Breadth encourages students to choose a handful of organizations/activities and take a deep dive into them. Research shows that students who choose Depth Over Breadth have a more meaningful experience and better leadership outcomes than those who choose to do more or too many things superficially.
No Title Needed highlights the idea that leadership is the ability to contribute to positive change and is not tied to a formal title or position within an organization. Too often students (and society) are fixated on the title or role someone may be assigned, rather than their ability to work with others and to have a positive impact. Students don’t need to wait until they have a title or a position to practice leadership.
College is an incredible time for students to engage in activities and organizations that help them to explore who they are and what they care about. By engaging in a meaningful way, students can elevate their W&M experience, and we look forward to supporting them as they do that!
More information about Student Leadership Development can be found at www.wm.edu/leadership.