Why ‘major’ decisions are important

By Mara Shaprio

Whether it is through opportunities in the Greek system, jobs on campus or the many registered student organizations, there truly is a group for each student at the University. While it may sound fun to get involved in an RSO such as 104 Degrees: The Illini Hot Tub Club, which is devoted to the art of hot tubbing, it is also important to get involved with clubs that pertain to your major or career. 

As an English major with the hopes of applying into the secondary education program this semester, I made sure that during my freshman year I got involved with organizations that would benefit my future. I started writing for The Daily Illini, I joined the teaching organization Epsilon Delta and I become a member of English Student Council. The Daily Illini has helped me advance my writing skills, Epsilon Delta brings in guest speakers who have experience in the education field and English Student Council provides me with a network of fellow English majors.

Fueling your Future

So why is it important to get involved with organizations that pertain to your major? The bottom line is that we are all at this school in the hopes of finding success in the workforce, and the major you choose will ultimately guide what you do in your career after graduation. Joining an RSO that connects to your major can only help you, as you will be provided with more tools than you could imagine. On the other hand, you may also find that an RSO will show you that the career you wish to pursue requires you to 

switch your major, or maybe it is no longer the career you wish to have. 

A Social Network

RSOs that pertain to your major also provide a network of people. I know that at English Student Council, a major in English is valued, and the members understand what it is like to read a book in one night and finish the five-page essay the following night. Joining an RSO that pertains to your major will allow you to connect with people who you will probably end up having at least one class with in your time at the University. They’ll be able to talk to you about your classes, give recommendations and provide overall support. These people may also be your co-workers, or even your boss, in five or 10 years. 

It begins with Quad Day

A great way to find RSOs that relate to your major is by showing up to Quad Day. Most organizations will have booths with members manning them, eagerly awaiting your questions. For those interested in a career in business, there are many business fraternities to join. For journalism students, the various newspapers, magazines and radio stations will all be looking for talented new writers, graphic artists and personalities. For the many engineers, there are various organizations for the different branches of engineering. Even if it is difficult to find your desired RSO at Quad Day, students can always ask their advisors for suggestions or look up RSOs online. Ultimately, it is important to get involved on campus, and it’s best to do so early. It will only provide you with more opportunities for your future.

Mara is a sophomore in LAS. She can be reached at [email protected]