Getting involved at the University of Illinois 

On a campus this big, there are plenty of ways for students to get involved.

By Thomas Polcyn , Assistant sports editor 

The University of Illinois is a very large school, so for both incoming freshmen and older students it is often intimidating to get involved.

However, despite the overall size, there is a way for each and every student to get involved somehow. Here are a few of the common ways that students make the most of their experience at U of I.

Join a fraternity/sorority

Joining a fraternity or sorority is a great way to get to know a lot of people and get involved socially and philanthropically in the community. I joined one this past semester and so far it has been one of the best decisions of my college career. I have made many life-long friends in the process and have greatly enjoyed all of the benefits it has provided me. Even if a traditional fraternity or sorority isn’t your thing, there are also plenty of major-specific fraternities that are not only great to meet more people, but also are good to have on a resume.

Join clubs and student organizations

Illinois currently has more than 1,400 RSOs and that number still growing by the day. You can find clubs ranging from the golf club to something like dance or even quidditch (yes quidditch, like Harry Potter quidditch.). There are organizations that involve your studies, personal interests, and honestly pretty much anything you can think of. If you can’t find any that interest you, feel free to start your own. During my freshman year, in addition to joining my fraternity, I got involved in the golf club, Block I, and at The Daily Illini. Through these, I was able to meet a lot of great friends as well as staying involved in things I like to do.

Get a job

Though many students will not necessarily be excited to work right when they get on campus, it is definitely another good way to get involved and make some extra money to spend when you go out. There are plenty of jobs you can get as a freshman, anywhere from working at the bars, the gym, the library, or at the Daily Illini, like I do. No matter what you are interested in — even if it’s just making money — there is a job for you.

Try something new

No matter how prepared you may think you are for college, there are always going to be times when you have to go out of your comfort zone. If it is something schoolwise, or even just adjusting to the dorms, college is a new experience for everyone. One way to really adjust and get more involved is just to try something new. Even if you don’t stick with it, give it a shot. It could be something as small as going to your first football game, but no matter what it is, try something out.

In the end, even if none of my suggestions appeal to you, I’m sure you’ll be able to find your own ways to get involved. All of the opportunities are out there; it’s just a matter of which ones you decide to take advantage of.

Thomas is a sophomore in Media.

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