Quad Day 2020 turns virtual: Use these tips to guide your search
August 19, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly thrown a wrench in everyone’s plans this year. Now, incoming freshmen must navigate their first year of college without the help of the traditional, in-person “Quad Day” the University offers each year. There are alternatives, however, and the sentiment of Quad Day can still be somewhat achieved by browsing the list of RSOs online.
However, once you get to the list — or during a regular year, on the Quad — it can be pretty overwhelming. The University houses hundreds of RSOs, and referencing an online list instead of a person to find out more information is not ideal when trying to discern which one you want to join. Despite the struggles that will arise this year as the country continues to wrestle a pandemic, it can still be very valuable to become a part of communities on campus. Knowing which one to dedicate time to is difficult, especially if you have a lot of interests. Hopefully, some of these tips can help you navigate the virtual Quad Day you have ahead of you.
Ask yourself if there are clubs you have heard of and are already interested in.
Think back to all the topics and issues you already know you are interested in, and then search for groups that may use those subjects to revolve around. If you are a pre-law student, then two no-brainer RSOs to explore would be Mock Trial or a pre-law fraternity. If you are interested in art and graphic design, you could join one of the many publications on campus, as they are always looking for creative people. Once you have those interests narrowed down, you can look through the list while already having an idea in your mind. This will definitely mitigate any stress while searching.
After your first look-through, look again for anything else that pops out at you.
You might already have a wide variety of RSO names to investigate after your first look through and may not feel the need to go through the list one more time. That’s totally okay, but it’s important to keep in mind that just not everything is going to be what you think it will be. I was interested in a number of clubs before I narrowed down which ones I wanted to devote my time to. There were a couple clubs I thought I was going to thrive in but didn’t end up being a good fit for me and my schedule in the end. I ended up joining a club sport instead, and though I’m not a sporty person, it has turned out to be a community and activity I am so thankful to have. If I hadn’t kept my mind open to it, my college experience would have looked very different.
Write down the informational meeting dates and times in your planner or somewhere you check frequently.
Writing down a list of activities is a great way to explore the communities on campus, but that list doesn’t do you much good unless you actually attend the info sessions. It can seem like a bother and very hectic, but without attending those meetings, you won’t have a good gauge of whether or not you will like the RSO.
Ultimately, RSOs can be a great way to make friends and build connections and experience on campus. With COVID-19 it can be harder to explore and socialize, but that just makes it even more important to find the right RSO for you.