The Daily Illini

Enhance your RSO search with these tips

Students+search+for+Registered+Student+Organizations+to+join+on+Quad+Day+in+August+2016.
Students search for Registered Student Organizations to join on Quad Day in August 2016.

Students search for Registered Student Organizations to join on Quad Day in August 2016.

Students search for Registered Student Organizations to join on Quad Day in August 2016.

By Jamie Linton, Assistant Opinions Editor

Quad Day is hands down the most overwhelming day of the University’s Welcome Days. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, there are some ground rules and tips you can use to harness the abundance of information to your advantage.  

This is a great time to reflect on the kind of person you’ve always wanted to be. How so, you ask? Even though this is easier said than done, prior to Quad Day, take a step back and think about your long-term and short-term interests, activities you enjoyed in high school, side hobbies and opportunities you’ve always wanted to pursue but never had the chance to. Don’t forget to consider your college and major, as well as your social life.

You most likely won’t walk away empty handed or feeling left out. Quad Day was crafted to cater to all students, so it’s likely you will leave the event feeling good about the upcoming year.

 Due to the size of this school and its rural location, understand that getting involved in Registered Student Organizations and other University-sponsored groups are the easiest and potentially only ways for you to build your calendar.  

In my experience, getting as involved as possible on campus is what cultivates the happiest life throughout the school year, and is the largest regret of those I know who failed to do so freshman year. Yes, there will be other chances to pursue the opportunities you may miss on Quad Day; however, there are benefits to laying some sort of foundation for your freshman year rather than later on.

For those students who seek careers in creative fields where experience is key to a great resume, beginning your climb up the leadership ladder early ensures enough time to land an executive position as an upperclassman.

Additionally, spending time playing different roles in an organization will help you achieve a well-rounded skill set and an understanding of what you like and don’t like about different positions. This will do great things for your social life as well.

Many incoming students think the only reason why the University is considered an excessively social school is because of our huge Greek life, but what many don’t see is how much effort other large organizations put into their social calendars to bond and improve the lives of their members. Almost every RSO will have an annual dance and most have scheduled weekly events as well.

Once you have an idea of what hobbies pique your interest, take a look at this list of registered student organizations, best known as RSOs, and take note of which ones you’d like to learn more about.  

I’ve found that larger organizations with long histories of success seem to be the most valuable for students to join. Due to their reputations, contacts and other resources, they tend to be the most well-organized and best equipped to handle large numbers of students while maintaining a reasonable level of productivity. Joining one of these organizations will provide you with a long list of alumni to network with in the future as well as fun traditions that help students feel more integrated with the University and its history.    

Although Quad Day is a social activity, I encourage you to venture off on your own. The best friends are those who encourage you to take advantage of opportunities, but it’s likely you and your roommate won’t want to join all the same clubs. Don’t feel rushed and sign up for as many email lists as you’d like. You’ll regret this decision in the next three years when you’re still getting emails from the chai tea club. Make sure you’re choosing one or two clubs to seriously consider and actually follow through with attending informational meetings.

Even though it’ll likely be hot, loud and overwhelming, Quad Day is one of the only times invaluable opportunities are quite literally right at your fingertips. Avoid second guessing yourself and take advantage — you won’t regret it.

Jamie is a junior in Media.

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About the Writer
Jamie Linton, Assistant Opinions Editor

I’m a junior majoring in advertising with minors in public relations, psychology and gender + women’s studies from Chicago. Previously, I was an opinions columnist for a year and a half. I’m also involved in the American Advertising Federation and Alpha Delta Pi sorority. I love Chicago restaurants, lavender lattes and books and movies that empower women.

[email protected]

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