Using RSOs to help your future and your present

By Pari Apostolakos, Assistant Features Editor

Trying to find your place in the University can be, in a word, overwhelming. One of the most helpful ways to adjust to campus life and to find your crowd is through registered student organizations.

What many people don’t realize is that, although RSOs can be fun to be a part of University life, they can also be a gateway to receiving much needed guidance and experience in both your academic and professional journeys.

Although many RSOs are designed around students pursuing their extracurricular rather than academic interests, whether they fall amongst fitness, musical theatre or anything in between, there are still many ways that those organizations can be doors to opportunity for those who join.

If you’re looking to build your resume without joining an organization based on your major, find an RSO you’re excited about that has leadership opportunities for you to try and take the reins. A seat at an executive board or a lead on a fundraising event are experiences which will allow for fine tuning of your leadership skills (which employers are always looking for).

If you took an integral role in an RSO that is not dedicated to people in the same major as you it will show future employers that you are a well rounded person with the passion to complete many different projects.

You don’t have to be the president of every club you’re a part of, but ask about how available those leadership opportunities are when signing up for email lists on Quad Day.

If you decide to join an RSO which is dedicated to assisting people on similar academic and career paths as you, it can expose you to older peers who can become mentors to you.

Befriending people at the University who have been through similar classes and have similar goals can be very beneficial to you in the long run. They can tell you how to arrange your schedule in a way which classes will be less stressful, and give you much needed advice about professors, internships and University life in general.

Making connections with the right people is an important part of the collegiate journey, and older students will oftentimes have wisdom they would be more than willing to share with you. It would be clever on your part to learn from their mistakes rather than your own.

Even if you only make friends with people your own age, that doesn’t mean they won’t have any wisdom to share with you, and you with them. Ultimately, creating study groups with people who are enrolled in the same classes that you are, or simply having someone to text about an economics problem can be a great asset.

Truth be told, the more people who you have to lean on at this time in your life, while we all test the waters of true independence, the better off you are.

And most importantly, join RSOs and tailor them to your needs and interests, not the other way around. For example, if you’re major is in advertising or public relations, work your way up to eventually becoming social media or PR chairman of an organization you’re passionate about. If your major is business, you can hone in on your public speaking and problem solving skills by joining an improv comedy group on campus.

The list goes on and on, but the key is to use your passions to help you find your way.  

What we need the most is oftentimes found in unlikely places, so keep an open mind, and don’t discount anything as a waste of time if you have a love for it. Because when you look at it the right way, there can be academic, social and many more benefits to joining any RSO on campus.

Pari is a sophomore in Media.

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