Don’t force yourself to join everything
August 25, 2019
Quad Day offers a diverse amount of RSOs to browse and consider joining. When I was a freshman, I was eager to join as many different organizations as I can, thinking I would be able to handle the time commitment that comes with each organization.
Before I started my college career, I thought I would have a similar schedule to high school. My thought was I’d have classes in the morning and early afternoon and meetings with RSOs and sports clubs in the evening.
I was wrong.
Though it may not seem like it at first, the college experience is very different than the high school experience. There is simply not enough time to do everything you want to do.
Of course, this does not mean you should not join any RSOs, but consider moderating yourself with what you join. Think about all of the new things you will have to find time for, such as laundry and studying, as well as general college life.
Instead, think about what you are truly most passionate about, what you have always wanted to try out and what you want to do to help further your major. Once that has been determined, make a list of the top five-or-so RSOs you want to join.
Once your top five potential RSOs has been determined, check them out at Quad Day and talk with a representative. Investigate how demanding the RSO is and how much time you would have to contribute. Maybe you will learn their meeting times do not work with your schedule. Maybe you will learn the RSO is not for you. Maybe you fall in love with the RSO and choose to dedicate all of your free time to it.
Note that not every RSO will be out on Quad Day, as the Main Quad simply does not have enough space for all 1,000-plus RSOs. If you are unable to find your potential RSO, search for it online and look for contact information. Get in contact with the RSO, and tell them of your interest. They should provide more information on the RSO.
Once you have visited your potential RSOs, look again at why you visited them on Quad Day in the first place and make your decision. Remember not to overwhelm yourself so soon; that will naturally come along — I guarantee it.
I recommend looking for an RSO based on something you enjoy, whether it be a sport, a video game or any other general activity. You’re new to the University; you’re going to want to make friends to help guide each other throughout freshman year.
Enjoy your first year; you only get one. Welcome to the University of Illinois!