Joining a student organization or some form of an extracurricular activity can be a fun way to stay active in campus life, but eventually there’s added pressure and expectations to move higher up in the hierarchy. When exec board elections come around, the decision to run for a position might reflect thoughts along the lines of “well I should probably do this to stand out on my resume and get that internship.”

However, being a student leader is worth so much more than a line of text on a page. While there’s no doubt having authority titles on your C/V is a positive thing to advance your career, it’s not all about how you look on paper. It doesn’t have to be tailored solely to student government positions or academic endeavors, either – unless that’s what you run into.

Whatever involvement piques your interest, here are seven reasons why exploring student leadership roles is one of the most rewarding opportunities you could have.

1. You get to network with incredible individuals. Whether collaborating with your fellow sorority sisters, teammates in an athletic club, or even new friends at a leadership conference, you’re bound to meet inspiring people. After all, great minds think alike.

2. You become more independent. Leadership puts your own strengths and weaknesses to the test, and when you have to rely on yourself to get a job done, you’ll be surprised to see how far you can go.

3. You understand the value of teamwork. At the same time, you’re just one person, and when you work together with other great leaders, everyone wins.

4. You learn you won’t always succeed… and that’s OK. Ask any leader about the obstacles he or she faced along the way, and they’ll more than likely tell you that some degree of failure was a stepping-stone to their success.

5. You become more responsible. It’s true that great power comes with great responsibility, and even if it’s scary or overwhelming now, trust it’ll be one of those life lessons you’re grateful for later.

6. You will leave a legacy. Got a problem? Do something about it. When you do, you’ll get that gratifying feeling of having your voice heard, making a difference and being able to say, “yeah, I did that.”

7. You’ll feel ready to take on anything. As a leader, you’re constantly working toward ambitious goals, so once you transition into a career and adulthood, you’ll be confident enough to perform well when push comes to shove.

By Marisa Ross | www.hercampus.com

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