10 Ways to Benefit from Community College Outside the Classroom

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10 Ways to Benefit from Community College Outside the Classroom
Take advantage of the many activities community colleges offer outside the classroom, from community service to the arts.
Thinking about community college? Consider this – there are numerous ways to benefit from a community college education outside the classroom environment. With a wealth of extracurricular activities to choose from today, you’ll never be at a loss for how to fill your time. Check out these valuable ways to benefit from your local community college outside the classroom.

Log Some Service Hours

Many community colleges offer students the opportunity to flex their volunteer muscles through a variety of community service projects. According to the American Association of Community Colleges, volunteer work offers a myriad of benefits to students, including the ability to engage in the civic community and learn new skills they can take with them after graduation. This organization now promotes service learning to more than 1,200 schools nationwide. Service options might include working with specific organizations in the area or individual projects organized by the community college and based on the specific needs of the local neighborhood.

This TEDx Talk discusses the benefits of volunteering.

Take in a Concert

 Community colleges with robust music departments might feature a wealth of musical offerings from their students throughout the year. Choose from various genres, including jazz and classical, as well as vocal and instrumental music performances. In addition, many community colleges host visiting musical artists throughout the year, giving students in and out of their music programs the chance to dabble in different musical styles.
 
Exercise Your Competitive Spirit
 
The National Junior College Athletic Association features a huge assortment of sports opportunities for both men and women at the community college level. From football and basketball to swimming, track, and soccer, students can find what they are looking for at their local community college. In addition, aspiring athletes can even earn scholarships to some schools, and more than one professional athlete has started their career at a community college.
 
Put on Your Dancing Shoes
 
Where there’s music, there’s dance, and many community colleges offer a full music program complete with dance instruction. Whether you enjoy watching dance from the audience or kicking up your heels, you can find the right fit for you at community college. Mesa Community College in Mesa, Arizona, is one school that offers a well-rounded dance program complete with guest dancers and choreographers throughout the year. Mesa promises to challenge aspiring dancers at all levels, whether their passion is choreographing or performing.
 
Get Politically Active
 
Want to test the political waters on your college campus? Many community colleges feature both Republican and Democratic clubs on campus to involve students in the political scene at all levels. If you want a firsthand look at what it’s like to hold a public office, check out the student government opportunities at your community college. These organizations offer a wide range of activities and experiences for budding politicians on all levels.
 
This video suggests more community service ideas.
 
 
Write for the Paper
 
If your interests range more to the reporting of political events, there is probably a place for you on your local campus as well. Most schools offer their own school newspaper that allows students to play the role of reporter for all campus events and issues. This position may be restricted to those studying related fields like English or journalism, or it might be open to the student population at large. If you don’t have a paper to work on, some local publications might be open to offering internships to journalism students from the nearby community college as well.
 
Audition for a Show
 
Theatre is a popular offering at many community colleges, with a full schedule of performances to keep students busy all year long. From full-scale musicals to intimate theatre-in-the-round performances, you can find a wealth of opportunities to choose from. Most of these programs are open to all college students regardless of their field of study, combining students who want to go into the craft as a profession and those who simply enjoy their moment in the spotlight from time to time.
 
Indulge in Friendly Competition
 
Intramural sports might provide the best opportunity for amateur athletes who enjoy the thrill of competition but don’t want the pressure of representing the entire school. These groups allow students to compete in the sports they love purely recreationally, often with shorter seasons and less practice time than the official campus sports. For those who prefer to stay in shape without the pressure of a score, the campus fitness center may offer the perfect chance to pump some iron and work up a sweat – no competitive spirit required.
 
Join a Club
 
Depending on your community college, you might find a wealth of clubs and organizations to join. For example, Frederick Community College in Maryland offers a long list of club options on its website, including clubs for anime, ceramics, and fencing. In addition, students can choose from clubs that align with their heritage or ethnicity, field of study, or political interests.
 
Grab a Mike
 
If you love to talk, how about a stint on the air at your campus radio station? Spin some records or man your own talk show dealing with the issues of your choice. Report the news or work behind the scenes, producing shows for disc jockeys-to-be. This job may offer flexible hours and a wide range of duties to choose from.
 
Sure, community college is a great way to pursue an education, but don’t limit yourself to the classroom. There are many fun and rewarding ways to make the most of your community college experience, and many take place after classes are over for the day.
 
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