While in college, it is hard to know just how to get involved on campus. Advisers tell you to join clubs in your major or maybe something you’re interested in. But what if you don’t have your major nailed down and what you’re “interested in” isn’t offered as a club? Maybe joining a club isn’t for you, and you are more interested in meeting new people. Well… here are four easy ways to get involved on your college campus as an incoming freshman or even as a transfer student.
1. Greek Life: I was a transfer student coming into the University of South Florida (USF), and I wanted to meet other students my age on a social level rather than an academic level, so I decided to rush for a sorority. I can honestly say that, after being in Delta Delta Delta for almost a year now, it was the best decision I ever made in college. I have met over 100 sisters plus alumni sisters, other Greek life members and have been able to experience so many different things that I may not have without the help of a sorority. I recommend Greek life because it opens students up to a whole new world. My sorority is involved in so much in the community. We do philanthropic work with other Greek organizations and with charities such as Shriners Hospital for Children, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Service for Sight and, our own charity, St. Jude Children’s Hospital. A sorority gives students the chance to participate in amazing events and help serve the community that serves them. (Below are pictures of our philanthropic events).
Greek students also have a ton of fun! I have been able to participate in awesome events such as the following: a speed-dating event, a formal on the Yacht StarShip, a toga party, semi-formal at The Kennedy, Greek week (which is a week specifically for Greek members to go to and participate in various events) and many other exciting events! I want to emphasize that it doesn’t matter what year you are in college, RUSH! Joining a sorority or fraternity will be the best decision of your college career!
2. Get a Job On-Campus: A lot of incoming freshman decide to get a job on-campus because most colleges require freshman to live on campus for their first year. Even if you aren’t a freshman or you’re living off-campus, I encourage getting a job on-campus. Most students that I’ve talked to that worked on-campus truly recommend it! They meet so many people at work, and imagine if they were also in a fraternity or sorority, I mean OMG they would seriously know everyone! Some on-campus jobs to look into include: the library (at USF, there are six floors, numerous tutoring centers, and a Starbucks), the student center (there are normally tons of restaurants and clubs in the student center), housing (there are many places to live on campus and this is a job definitely in high demand) and student government. Getting a job on-campus is one of the easiest ways to meet new people in college, plus you will be getting paid… helloooo MONEY!
3. Join Student Government: Student Government is the place to be in college! If you’re “in” with Student Government, then you’re pretty much “in” with everything on campus. Student Government will pay you to do administrative work for them, or you can be a volunteer and help with certain tasks, events, etc. Student Government is in charge of Homecoming, any kind of free food or activities on-campus and all clubs that are created and operate on-campus. Student Government is also there to provide the setting for all students to be equally heard and represented, and to enhance each student’s experience and development while in college. While in community college, I joined Student Government as a Senator. I was able to voice my opinion on certain discussions and make things happen on my campus. I encourage you all to check out Student Government. It’s not for everyone, but I’m almost positive you can find something within Student Government that makes you feel empowered and like you’re making a difference! (Below are pictures of Student Government members and USF Homecoming candidates.)
4. Create Your Own Club: Here’s a funny story. When my mother was in college (back in the day), she realized that there was no Greek life, so she set out to create her own sorority. She, and a few of her closest girlfriends, decided to charter a sorority and call it Lambda Chi Omega. She went to the Dean and got it approved by all the right people and then began recruiting more girls. Her story proves that it is not as hard as it sounds to create your own club or organization; it’s a lot like starting your own business. What better way to learn actual business practices than to create your own club or organization. If you have enough members that are willing to participate, pay dues and come to all the meetings, then the rest is really up to you. If you have the drive and determination, you can make it happen! (Below is a picture of the very first Toastmasters club on the USF Tampa campus.)
There are so many ways to get involved in college life and these are just a few. No matter where you go to school, you can get involved. Just because you are at community college does NOT mean you can’t get involved! I challenge you freshman, sophomores, juniors and seniors to DO SOMETHING during your college career … get involved … make new friends … get good grades … and, ultimately, have a blast!
Ashley Damschen/ CW44 Tampa Bay