Involvement is Key to Well-Being

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Rachael Pocklington
Communications Officer, Parents Program

By now, we all have heard about the benefits of student involvement - improves retention, increases GPA and graduation rates. These are great statistics, but how exactly does involvement contribute to a student’s well-being? How does getting involved help a student adjust to life on Tech’s campus? I had the opportunity to discuss student involvement with a rising second-year student, Stephen Webber, a College of Management student from McDonough, Georgia, about how getting involved helped him learn the ropes at Tech.

Just as a bit of background, why did you choose Georgia Tech?
I was a real fan of the school since I was a kid. Perhaps that’s because my dad and grandfather would take me to Tech sporting events. Those were positive experiences for me and gave me a great feeling about coming to the school, both as a youth and a young adult.

As a first-year student, why and how did you get involved in extra-curricular activities?
I knew that I wanted to get involved when I came to Tech since I wasn’t very involved in high school. When I first came to Tech, I wanted to participate in sports, tennis specifically, because I like to play and leadership activities because I know it is important to hone these skills for life after college.

You had a plan from the beginning. Were there any activities in which you became involved that surprised you?
Yes, I went Greek! That was a surprise but a great decision for me. It has helped me build a great network of friends with similar interests and personalities. Plus, there is always something to do. I have found that involvement in organizations, both Greek and non-Greek, has had tremendous positive impact on my academics because it gives me an opportunity to take a break from studying and helps me manage my time more effectively.

You are also involved with freshmen orientation as a FASET leader. How has this experience helped you?
I became involved with the FASET program at the beginning of the spring semester. After meeting with past FASET leaders, it became quite clear that it was a very good fit for me. It has allowed me to share my experiences thus far at Tech with others - both parents and students. I really enjoy answering questions and reassuring new students and their parents that it will all come together.

What advice would you give to incoming freshman?
To get involved! Really, it sounds cliché but you never know what is going to spark your interest. There are so many opportunities on campus and so many different people to meet. But it is up to the student to take the initiative to get involved.

What about advice to second-year students?
I see many students who may think it is too late to get involved. This is not true. In fact, there is plenty to do your second year. Just because you may not have instant access like you did when you were a freshman doesn’t mean there are no meaningful opportunities to get involved. This year, I plan to get involved in the Office of Success Program’s Sophomore Summit program and the College of Management’s Student Ambassador program. I also look forward to exploring co-op opportunities in the spring.

What else are you looking forward to?
Football season! And moving forward into my second year especially now that I understand the ins and outs of Tech. Plus, I look forward to not needing a map to navigate the campus!


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    Rachael Pocklington
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    Fletcher Moore
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