It’s that time of year again. Summer is coming to a close and everyone is making her way back to school. Returning students know that college is a place that is full of life, a place where you can do anything you set your mind to. But how do you actually get involved in activities that will allow you to pursue your dreams and prepare you for your career?
Getting involved on campus can be tricky, especially when the amount of activities, clubs, and groups is seemingly endless. The first question you should as yourself is whether or not there is a club or sport that you absolutely must join. If your answer is yes, then joining your first club or sport might be as simple as finding out when and where they hold their first meeting, showing up and introducing yourself. When you arrive at the first meeting, make sure to have an open mind and to be friendly! Chances are the previous members will be excited to meet you and tell you all about the activities the group does, their goals, and how much of a commitment they expect from members.
If you have no clue what you want to participate in, that’s okay too! There’s plenty of ways to find clubs on campus. One of the best places to look is your school’s website. Most university websites will have an activity page that will allow you to browse all of the groups that are currently established on campus. This will help you get a sense of what’s available to you. The website will probably also give you descriptions of the club’s mission, meeting times, and even contact information. You should feel free to contact the current members. They generally love to hear from potential members and will be happy to answer your questions.
However, if you would prefer face-to-face interaction, you should check out the activities fair. Most colleges hold activities fairs so that intramural teams, sororities, honor societies and all of the other clubs on campus have a chance to promote their groups. These fairs also give new potential members (like you!) a chance to learn more about what your school has to offer. It may be a great opportunity to get some free stuff as well!
There are a few things you should always keep in mind when looking to join a new activity. First, make sure that you join something that you will enjoy participating in and spending time with the current members. You should be open to meeting many new people with all types of personalities. Next, clubs and activities are great résumé builders. Joining sororities, honor societies, or even the rowing team will not only be fun and help you create lasting friendships, but will look great to future employers, as well. Third, remember there are tons of people who are just as excited as you are to make new friends! Clubs are a wonderful place to meet people who share a common interest with you. The friendships you make on campus have the potential to last a lifetime. Finally, make sure you don’t overcommit. This one is especially important because it can be overwhelming how many cool new opportunities present themselves the first few weeks on a college campus, whether you are a first-year student or even a senior. Many students will find a number of groups on campus they wish to be a part of and a few weeks later they are overly stressed out because they have multiple meetings every week on top of classes and exams. Do not be discouraged! You will find a balance between activities and schoolwork, just make sure that you don’t leave the activities fair with a calendar that is booked with meetings for the entire semester. Take it slow- join one or two clubs you really like and see how you feel in a few weeks. Once you adjust to your schedule you will know whether or not you have time to commit yourself to another activity. Good luck girls and take advantage of all your university or college has to offer!