I know it's embedded in your mind immediately to join a club and get involved on campus at your college from the beginning. You're told this before you even start your classes.
The advice I got from friends and family who recently graduated or who were in college was to do the same when I was a freshman.
However, it's not as easy as it's advertised. You have to go to organizational fairs and do some research beforehand. Then, classes might be happening when they hold interest meetings or their general meetings. Assignments start to add up and you're now focusing on school more because it's college and you're paying to attend school, especially when you already have your friend group.
But just because you're not a freshman anymore, it doesn't mean you can't join clubs or campus organizations later in college or that they will be any less.
Most of my campus associations happened in my last two years of college. I became a member of a club I never knew about until I got more into my major, joined an organization that I now had the free time for after adjusting to college life, then began writing when I thought it has been way too long for me to try to write again.
I started writing for Odyssey at the University of South Carolina this past summer when I am a senior who is graduating in December, meaning this won't be a long-term involvement, and that's okay.
All of them have been completely worth it and has totally enhanced my experience at USC.
The clubs and organizations on campus and linked through your college are made with the purpose of making your college experience better. It's a way to test not only your likes and dislikes, but to see if you enjoy and get the most out of what you want to do in life, whether for fun, sport, or as a future career.
It is mostly heavily presented to freshmen as a way for them to make friends and to adjust to being on their own. It works the same way for upperclassmen as well.
Later into my major, I joined a club specifically directed at English majors or literature lovers. I met people I wouldn't have otherwise and became friends with those who were later in my classes. It gave me a sense of community, as a junior.
Around the same time, I began copy editing for my school's newspaper. This is the career I am wishing to pursue after getting my degree. I learned how a newspaper works, the different aspects and ultimately, exactly how I work in that environment and if I truly want to do that. It has been a great experience.
There are so many values that can be learned and taken from being involved on campus. There are so many organizations that appeal to everyone, such as the physicality.
There's so much to learn from being in clubs that will help after college and in life. Skills, friendships, independence and knowledge are only some of what you can gain.