Getting involved increases energy level and happiness


Chloe Richmond

Technology based student organizations, IEEE & Coding Club, tabling at Des Plaines

Chloe Richmond

Since coming to Oakton in the Fall 2021, I have become a part of a variety of student organizations on campus. 

Contrary to what one may think, being increasingly involved on campus has helped me have more academic successes along with greatly having increased my energy level, happiness, and personal fulfillment.

Every time that I would go into an organization meeting feeling somewhat overwhelmed from my coursework, without fail, I would come out of it feeling as though I had gained clarity. All the advisors and students in every organization I have been a part of have been incredibly supportive, and the vast majority of friends I have made while here at Oakton I met through different student organizations.

It did not quite start off that way, to say the least. Coming into Oakton, “extracurricular” was a word that spurred a great amount of intrigue– but also discomfort– for me. 

Throughout the entirety of high school, I lacked having been in a single club and was strikingly insecure about it. That is not to say that I didn’t do anything- I enjoyed reading, making periodic table related charts, playing sports with my family, etc. – I just hadn’t been a part of a book club, a chemistry club, or on a sports team- and the idea of doing a high amount of such organizational things was a large personal unfamiliarity.

Every student that I spoke to, I noticed, seemed to have a laundry list full of the clubs and organizations that they had been a part of in high school. One could equate this to my homeschooled background, but even among other homeschooled students that I knew, still the overwhelmingly casual mention of activities partaken in would come up.

I had felt as though even in a conversation about sandwich toppings, someone’s participation in the society of sustainable butchering, the baker’s club, the candlestick maker organization and so on, would inevitably come up. 

As such, and because I had a genuine interest in a variety of topics along with wanting to make up for my lack of involvement, I gradually learned to switch my focus to solely being inspired by these students rather than, essentially, dwelling in the fact that I was not like them (because that never does anything good), and worked at becoming more like one of the many sorts of students I knew and know that seem to have done some of everything.

By doing more on campus, I began to feel more connected to the Oakton community and gained such a greater appreciation for the diversity of the interests and skills of the Oakton student body.

Student Life center display at the Skokie campus (Chloe Richmond)

My campus involvement experiences have ranged from serving in student leadership positions such as serving as president of the Fine (A)rts Club to attending (Z)oology-oriented workshops during Earth Week. 

Through student organizations, and exploring varying programs offered, I gained a much deeper passion for education and the act of learning and persisting, no matter what the topic at hand may be, which is something that I find invaluable and strive to share with others as I carry it with me throughout my entire life. 

I believe that there are a variety of ways to learn and to achieve personal growth, yet, I have found that student organizations can be incredible vessels of that- and have become highly passionate about campus involvement through my experiences.

Regardless of what your prior experiences may be, as Fall Fest (our school’s annual student organization event) approaches, I could not recommend seeking out different extracurricular (or the preferred term of co-curricular, as they go alongside academic curriculum) opportunities enough.

Image showing the Student Life center at the Skokie campus (Chloe Richmond)

You never know where experiences may lead you, and if you actively look around, you’ll notice that our college has a countless number of opportunities to offer everywhere.

For a list of student activities and clubs & organizations offered at Oakton, see the following links:

  1. Student Activities – Student Clubs | Oakton Community College
  2. Student Clubs and Organizations | Oakton Community College