Let excitement overtake your Quad Day nerves

Before my freshman year of high school began, I took it upon myself to memorize the school’s alma mater song. It was 15 lines long; learning the song was no easy task. My friends didn’t even know there was a song. But I needed to know it.

“What if an older kid stops me in the hallway and makes me sing the song?! That happens in movies. I need to memorize this thing!” I defended myself to my friends. They just didn’t understand — I had to be prepared.

College is no different. I want to know everything ahead of time, which is why I found myself doing a little Quad Day research a few days ago.

It seems like an intimidating event, especially for a freshman noob like me. Of course I’m going to attend, but that doesn’t mean I’m not scared. So, to be perfectly prepared, I am determined to know about every single club before I get there.

I googled “clubs at U of I” and found nothing. It took a little more searching to realize that clubs at Illinois aren’t even called clubs. They’re registered student organizations.

RSOs? Really? That sounds like UFOs. Weird. In college, everything has to be more sophisticated. “Club” pales in comparison to “RSO.”

I finally found the online list of RSOs, and when I saw the number, my jaw dropped.

“Holy crap,” I gasped. “Over 800 different clubs?!”

I was in awe.

Slowly, I began scrolling through the list. The first club I read about was called the 3Spot Dance Troupe, a dance performance group. I tried to picture myself dancing like an idiot for recreation. I can’t dance. That club was ruled out immediately.

And then there was the American Concrete Institute, “a unified concrete knowledge community will develop and disseminate all the knowledge needed to utilize concrete to its fullest potential.” I imagined coming home at Thanksgiving and informing my family that I had fallen in love … with concrete.

I kept scrolling.

When I saw Barbecue Grilling Club (aka “Grillini”), I grinned as I read the description. A club dedicated to some good ol’ BBQ? Um, yes, please! I made a mental note to sign up for that one.

For some reason, I’m drawn to food clubs. So when I saw the Fish Lovers Union, my heart skipped a beat. I LOVE fish. Salmon, shrimp, lobster, oysters … If I could only join one club, it would be FLU.

Those weren’t the only ones I liked. There was Capture the Flag Enthusiasts, Dance Dance Revolution Club (I may not be able to dance in the 3Spot Dance Troupe, but DDR is my main deal), Fighting Illini Triathlon, Knitting Illini, October Lovers … the list goes on and on.

The club options are endless. I could hang out at the Illini Bodybuilding Club in the morning and sing with the Girls Next Door a capella group at night. (Never mind the fact that I can’t do a pull-up or carry a tune.)

Quad Day is approaching, and I’m still a little nervous. But hey, I did my homework. I’m ready.

Maybe Aug. 21 will be just as much fun as a Parkour Illinois club meeting … PARKOUR!

_Melanie is a freshman in Media._