Take this important advice: Join, join, join
August 20, 2019
When you first get to campus you will probably be feeling overwhelmed, alone and excited.
Let me first address those fears and let you know these feelings aren’t isolated to international students. Even as an Illinois resident coming with a lot of kids from my high school, I was still experiencing all these emotions.
The biggest tip you will hear again and again on campus is to join.
Join, join, join.
If you have any interest in a club or activity, join.
You can always back out later if you realize this organization isn’t for you, but I promise you joining any club will help you meet people and make you feel less alone.
If you’ve ever had any desire to do stand up, join a stand up group. Love Harry Potter? Don’t worry there are Harry Potter clubs for you — and classes for that matter.
Joining a club will help you make friends you might have never met if you didn’t. As an advertising major I never thought some of my best friends would be a Chemical Engineering major and an art major. But joining a variety of clubs helped me meet them. Some of my clubs aren’t my favorite things in the whole world, but the people are. I’m so thankful for the different organizations I’m in for introducing me to some of my favorite people.
Another great thing about joining organizations is you learn a lot about yourself. I came into Illinois as an education major, but after joining The Daily Illini — which I highly recommend to everyone —it helped me realize I really love media and advertising, specifically. Had I never joined I may have never discovered my passion for advertising.
So, just join, join, join.
Here’s some controversial advice: Even if you just want to join a club because your friend is joining, do it. As long as you’re getting yourself out there to try new things and meet new people, it’ll be a great experience.
If you don’t know where to start, you can always look online at Illinois’ list of RSO’s on campus. Make sure to head out to Quad Day also; that’s where a ton of RSO’s will be hanging around the Main Quad giving students more information. It will be overwhelming, but it will also be totally worth it.
It’ll be easiest for you to join clubs right at the beginning of the year, as that is when clubs are most actively seeking new members. You can always join second semester, too — or your third, or fourth, or fifth — but joining lots of things in your first semester will help you get your feet wet right away.
Illinois is such a large school that no matter what your interests are, there is an organization for you. So get out there, and just join, join, join.