Updated: Aug 7, 2022
By Omar Monsalvo
Getting involved in college is one of the most important things you must do as soon as possible. Other than meeting people in your dorm hall, clubs and organizations are where you’ll make friends and have professional relationships. Depending on your workload for the quarter or semester, the average involvement can vary from person to person. A good blueprint would be to look for one social club, one pertaining to your hobby, and one related to your desired professional career. This is a good balance between fun and career-oriented activities.
If you do not want to join all three, joining a professional club can have benefits even after school. Relationships can be made from guest speakers, career workshops, or conferences. But remember, the key is to be highly involved and dedicated to your clubs to get the most out of them socially and professionally.
How to look for clubs
The first step is to pull up a list of clubs on campus which can be found on your school website. Next, identify which clubs seem interesting to you and label them as social, hobby, or career clubs. Some clubs may be inactive so be sure to check out in person. This can be done by attending the campus involvement fairs or some time of an event where clubs try to recruit and students can ask more questions about the club. Typically the most active clubs are the involvement fairs which take place early fall quarter/semester. Contact information should be available for each club on your school organization's website.
We tend to get caught up in schoolwork, especially around the time of midterms and finals. Therefore, it is important to relieve stress and find some leisure time. A great way to find a common interest among those on campus. Whether you like to surf, hike, or play a sport there is most likely something to be involved in and meet new people. Intramural sports and school clubs are a great way to remain active for those who are athletic. I made the mistake of not trying out for my school’s club soccer team. I like to think I would have made the team my first year.
One of my friends joined a cinema club where they got to enjoy free early screenings and museum trips. I actually got to see C’mon C’mon a week before public release and see Joaquin Phoenix in attendance! There are many clubs for any interest so it is important to do your research!
Clubs are great but there are also other ways to get involved. The campus will be flooded with postings so take the time to read them and see what may interest you. Sometimes the best opportunities are on flyers such as mentor, resident advisor, and freshmen orientation positions. I made the mistake of relying on my information on social media and
missed the opportunity to apply for the position of campus guide. I found out I missed the deadline when I took the time to read a bright yellow poster on my way to a chemistry lecture. Most of the time these positions are paid and very close to your room or campus. Most importantly, coworkers are usually fellow students. Therefore, that is another way to make friends and expand your network.
The importance of involvement falls down to making campus a familiar place and boosting your professional opportunities.
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