Build your own community through campus involvement
August 19, 2020
The first and most important advice that I always give students who are about to begin college is to make sure you are as involved as you possibly can be throughout your time on campus. Normally, the perfect day to take a look at all of the possible student organizations would be Quad Day, which would take place a couple days before the start of classes and would allow every campus RSO a space on the Quad to advertise. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Quad Day will not be held this year.
Despite the lack of a physical Quad Day, I still highly recommend using other campus resources to figure out what on-campus opportunities are available to you this year. Many clubs and organizations will still function at some kind of capacity throughout the year, and most, if not all, had some kind of online presence before the pandemic, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to connect with these clubs now that they are expanding online.
The major reason that I suggest joining clubs is to tie yourself to the campus. Even if you aren’t a new student and have been here at school for up to three years, you can still benefit from joining clubs and building your connections on campus. This is not to say that you should be joining in order to get references for a future job but to connect with your fellow students. I think this process is especially important for freshmen because they have the least possible connections to the campus since their collegiate career just began. To make the place feel more like home, getting involved in things you enjoy or want to learn about can help keep you active in the community and also aid you in meeting like-minded individuals.
Being a part of a team gives you achievements, but most importantly it gives you teammates. Intramural and club sports give you common goals to bond over, but it is the human connection that will give you support when you are struggling the most. Basically, joining things helps you meet people, and meeting people leads to friendships and friendships help to make your time spent on campus meaningful and worthwhile. As someone who came to the campus not knowing a single soul, joining teams and clubs helped me to expand my circle of people that I could turn to in times of stress and joy. Gaining people that you can count on is really what allows you to make this campus a community for yourself.