Recently, I've found myself explaining certain skill sets I have as "something I learned in my sorority." I wasn't talking about baking cookies for rush or tying the prettiest hair ribbon. (I can't bake and I haven't worn a hair ribbon since 8th grade cheerleading.)
Figure 1.1: A sorority girl.
I'm talking about mediation. I've become a pretty good at helping people reach a compromise, because as a vice president of an organization of 30 girls, any decision you make is going to make someone unbelievably angry. I'm guessing that this is similar to anyone in charge of a group of people, whether it's a manager of a team or a mother wrangling her children.
The sorority also helped me learn how to plan events, keep up with paperwork, follow an established hierarchy, and juggle a seemingly impossible schedule. All of these skills transfer directly into the file folder labeled "Legit Job Skills for Real Life."
I'm not here to advocate joining a Greek organization, but I AM most definitely encouraging you some sort of activity on your college campus, whether it's a sports team, an on-campus job, a theater troupe, student government, or anything else that floats your boat.
Beyond that, though, it's extremely beneficial to assume a leadership position in your organization of choice. Learning how a manager has to deal with the needs, wants, and feelings of their team is crucial. Even if you never end up being a leader in your chosen job field, knowing how your manager feels sometimes can help you meet him or her halfway.
As an added bonus, if you make a mistake in your student organization, at worst you'll ruin an event and people might be mad at you. In the business world, a mistake could potentially cost your company a JILLION dollars. Wouldn't you rather mess up when less is on the line? I thought so.
A CALL TO ACTION! Get off your booty and go join something. You'll meet new friends, learn some skills, maybe get some cool T-shirts out of it. In any case, you won't regret it!