Don’t get discouraged while searching for a right fit
August 25, 2019
Anyone who knows me kThe University of Illinois offers over 1,000 student organizations and activities. Quad Day is an important opportunity for students to interact with all of them and get a sense of where they might belong on a large campus.
It’s a vital afternoon in a student’s Illinois experience that’s exciting, fast-paced and even a bit overwhelming. Many students go in with high expectations about the groups and the people they’ll get to interact with and even how the event might impact the rest of their college career.
But for some students, Quad Day might not go as smoothly as planned. Perhaps they weren’t able to find the organization they were looking for or the crowds became too dense to properly interact with a particular organization. Or maybe none of the tables they stopped by or the flyers they picked up piqued their interest enough to pursue membership. In a few cases, they might even leave the Main Quad feeling like the entire afternoon was a waste of time.
If this is your experience, don’t get discouraged. Quad Day is important and students would be remiss not to take full advantage of its offerings, but there are plenty of opportunities to find your place on campus long after the students clear and the tables are picked up.
Although Quad Day is advertised as the end-all-be-all of student participation, you can find what you’re looking for any time of the year. Almost all student organizations have an easy-to-track presence on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram where you can find more information about its meeting times, how to be added to its email listings and what it’s like to be a member. Many groups make an effort to put up posters in buildings around campus to promote their general meetings or introductory events. Keep an eye out for these as you explore campus and attend your first week of classes.
Remember to take advantage of your resources and listen up for opportunities your resident advisers, professors and academic advisers might bring to your attention either in class, meetings or via email. Often these kinds of things are suited to your academic interests so be sure to consider these opportunities carefully.
Also, remember if you don’t end up finding groups that are the right fit for you at Quad Day and opportunities aren’t finding their way to you as planned after it’s over, don’t be afraid to speak up and actively seek out organizations that work for you. Sometimes it takes effort and initiative to find the right fit, and that’s OK.
Don’t be afraid to speak to advisors and classmates about suggestions for groups or to quit something if doesn’t end up working out as you wanted it to at first. Everyone’s experience in RSO’s will be different and making comparisons to what the people around you are doing will only be discouraging.