Joining Organizations

The years spent earning undergraduate degrees can be a difficult time not only from an academic perspective, but also from an emotional one. Many college freshmen are away from friends and family for the first time, and it can be difficult to know how to go about meeting new people and making friends. One way to do this is to join one or more campus organizations. Most college campuses have plenty of non-academic activities: religious organizations, sports teams, fraternities and sororities, and student government, just to name a few. Joining organizations is a great way to boost your resume, enhance your college education, stay active, and meet fellow students. Some organizations, including the Baptist Student Union, offer free meals, so joining organizations can also be a great way to save money in some cases.

Perhaps the biggest advantage, though, is that joining organizations will increase your level of enjoyment during your college years. Most people who have negative experiences at college are unable to make strong connections with peers and faculty. For introverts, meeting new people can be quite traumatic. Joining organizations is a great way for shy people to develop relationships and, as a result, have a better college experience. Extroverts can also benefit from the social aspect of many organizations, but they will likely find it easy to meet new people regardless of whether they get involved in campus clubs and societies. Here are just a few things to consider about some of the more popular types of campus organizations:

Fraternities and sororities: Becoming a member of a fraternity or sorority is a great way to meet new people and feel like part of a close-knit group, but they're definitely not for everyone. If you're uncertain about whether joining a fraternity or sorority is the right thing for you, the best thing to do is participate in a rush. You'll get to meet new people and see whether you think you might fit in. If you feel like the sorority or fraternity isn't for you, there are plenty of other organizations to look into. Never take part in dangerous or humiliating activities like binge drinking or hazing just to fit in with a group.

Student government: Most student governments on college campuses welcome visitors to their meetings, so take the opportunity to attend a session. Observe how the government operates, the procedures they follow, and how the members interact with each other. If you feel like it is something you might like to be involved with, consider running during the next set of elections.

Honor society: To be a member of the honor society, you may need to have a minimum GPA or attend some extra classes. Honor society members are often granted special campus privileges, such as being allowed to register early for classes. If you want to register early, but don't want to attend regular honor society meetings, one strategy is to leave the society after you have completed the registration process. If you're going to take this route, be sure you've taken advantage of all the opportunities which can be obtained from the honor society program before you quit.

Last Updated: 04/24/2014

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