Find balance in coursework, RSOs


The Daily Illini File Photo

A University student scans the QR code for The Wildlife Society RSO on Quad Day 2021. Some RSO’s will use a QR code as a way for students to sign-up for the club, or will require them to write it down on a sign-up sheet.

By Kylie Corral, Assistant buzz Editor

Although Welcome Week is widely anticipated by new students at the University of Illinois, it’s also enjoyed by returning students. With events lined up to entertain all, many people are happy to participate in fun outings to get to know other students and familiarize themselves with campus life.

Quad Day, an event at the end of Welcome Week and the day before the fall semester begins, is popular with students. It lets students learn about registered student organizations, or RSOs, and how to find a place within their common interests.

But when you’re navigating the academic version of a concert crowd, the excitement may be overwhelming, leading you to commit time to what might be too many RSOs, even for the most time-efficient people. There are some ways to make sure that you’re getting the most out of Quad Day, while also putting the need to relax first and foremost.

Sign Up Sheets

The first thing you’ll encounter as you approach sticker-and-pamphlet-crowded tables are people who will direct you to their sign-up sheets and ask for your email so they can update you on their RSO within the next few weeks.

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RSOs have a funny way of disappearing after Quad Day (very much like i-cards), so if you’re interested in an RSO, you should sign up. Leaving your email address means that you’re interested in finding out more about how and when RSOs meet, as well as what the RSO typically plans during an academic year.

Sign up sheets aren’t a commitment to a certain RSO. Think of it as a free trial or window that looks inside of the typical life of a member. Make sure to sign up for both academic and social RSOs, and try ones that you may not have thought about twice before you decide on the best one for you.

Meeting Times

Soon after signing up, emails about the first meeting for new members will start to crop up in inboxes. These first meetings will most likely be instructional, bringing you in close quarters with leaders and organizers for you to ask questions about what it’s like to be a part of the RSO you’re interested in. It doesn’t matter whether an RSO is academic or social, these meetings serve everyone and are a great chance to meet others.

This first meeting is your opportunity to make sure you like an RSO before you join. If you’re choosing between many different groups you signed up for, this is where you would begin to narrow down your choices. Meeting with these RSOs for the first time will also give you a feel for how meetings usually go, letting you tailor a schedule that is perfect for you.

Credit Hours

Credit hours are a significant part of your life at the University, and how many credit hours a student is taking per semester determines how much free time they have outside of classwork. 

Although the difference between 12 and 18 credit hours may not seem like a big difference, it is. Coursework has a lot to do with how much time a day will be spent on homework and preparation for finals. 

The work involved with RSOs may interfere with students’ ability to rest between school and extracurriculars. Health comes first, so find the perfect blend of RSOs as a break and a balance for classes.

Finding Your Place

Being a new student at the University means that everything will seem like a lot at first, even RSOs. But RSOs should be an avenue to find belonging at the University, especially as you adjust to your new life at college. 

RSOs should be a haven where you can relax and be yourself, find lifelong friends and make memories that will last a lifetime. Don’t stuff several RSOs into one year, instead, find the perfect one for you and your first semester here.


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