I’m sure we’ve all heard that when you move away to college for your freshman year that you need to do two things: focus on your studies and get involved. You’re probably thinking, “Duh, of course I need to focus on my studies, that’s why I’m at college.” But not many people think about part two. Getting involved can be your foot in the door for several opportunities around campus and later on in life.
1. Don’t be shy.
This might sound silly, but it’s 100% true! If you remain in your shell and don’t speak up or leave your dorm room, then your chances of getting involved could potentially be history. The people talking to you will not bite, I promise! Honestly, they want you to join their organization. Just put a smile on your face and be open to hearing their mission statement, you never know what could happen once you talk to the people.
2. Go to the Activities Fair.
If you are a huge "Pitch Perfect" nerd like me, you might remember the scene where Beca’s dad came to visit her on move in day and she left abruptly with her roommate to attend the activities fair. Clubs and organizations plan for weeks on getting workers to stand at the tables and help recruit new members. Those individuals are taking time out of their day to sell you their organization. Keep in mind, there will be sign-up sheets everywhere you turn, so get involved, but don’t sign up for every organization on campus. Find a list on your school website or talk to the Student Development office on campus to see which organizations will be present and pick your top three to visit, but still be open to other organizations. Also, there’s free stuff at the activities fair, it’s like trick or treating as a reward for going!
3. Stay up to date with what is going on.
The public bulletin boards are not there for show, people really want you to read what they have to say. Crazy right? Maybe there is an activity that is being held on the quad where you can go and hang out with your friends and people from the organization all at once so you can see if it is one you might want to join. If it looks like an organization you would do well in, then definitely contact the organization as soon as possible! If you’re unsure, then contact them and ask some general questions on why you should join.
4. Talk to someone you trust.
If your favorite class is a foreign language class, talk to your professor to see if there is a club that you can join (maybe there is extra credit involved after you join). If you’re not one for talking to a professor, try talking to your RA if you live on campus, they are a great resource to have. Your RA has more than likely been actively involved in at least one organization on campus, and the other RAs in your building might be in other organizations too. Simply set aside time to talk to them and find out why they joined and what they love about that organization. Just don’t get stuck in the shower singing with another student as a way to join the organization.
5. Be Yourself.
In "Pitch Perfect," you probably noticed how Beca was totally herself. She knew what she wanted to do and what her interests consisted of. She didn’t want to join The Bellas at first because she didn’t think of herself as a singer or a girly girl. Instead, she became a DJ to help her toward becoming a music producer and eventually joined The Bellas and made some friends from it. You can do the same thing too! After seeing what there is around campus, don’t be anyone but yourself, it helps in the long run! It worked for Beca, and now the Bellas have a new sound. You might be able to help contribute something to an organization that will help you build your resume and maybe even help better the organization as a whole. Plus, it’s a great way to make friends and have fun!