How Organizing and Advocacy Can Help You Grow
Last updated March 1, 2021
As you decide which clubs or organizations to join, take a moment to reflect on your interests and values. Ask yourself: Do my interests and values align with the club or organization? Will participating in this organization help me grow? Am I only joining because this organization will look good on resumes and college applications?
Real personal growth will happen when you have intentions of learning and wanting to grow. Joining a club or organization should first focus on helping you learn and grow, and then secondly, what you can highlight on your resume and college applications. It’s not just about saying you participated, but how did your participation result in change, in you or in other people.
Strengthen your communication skills
You’ll have many opportunities in written and verbal forms to communicate the mission of the organization you are a member of. Whether you’re participating in team or community events, you’ll need to articulate your thoughts. If public speaking is hard for you, joining an organization with a mission you believe in will help you build confidence because you will be speaking about something you value.
Develop focus and direction
Individually you may have more general ideas and information about a particular topic. When you join an organization, the focused work will help deepen your understanding of a topic. You’ll learn about actionable ways to support your interests and values. Most importantly, you’ll gain the tools to learn how to ‘go deep’ on an issue.
Feel supported to learn
The best thing that any group or organization can do is to support you while you’re learning to make a difference. Let’s face it, when you’re trying to affect change, having a support system will boost your morale. Plus, you’ll have many teachers to help you learn about the ins and outs of navigating the institutions and rules of the systems you are trying to change.
Build compassion and empathy
Becoming an ally to a cause will help you understand the struggles that people are going through. You will be introduced to a different perspective from yours that will challenge and deepen the way you think.