Today I am talking about getting involved at college. It can be hard for high schoolers to transition to college involvement. It's easy to be involved in high school where there are ways less organizations to join and things to do. At my school there are 200+ RSOs (or so they say…) so the struggle of finding which ones fit you best can be hard. I am here to give you my tips on how to get involved–but first. A word from the lovely people who sent in responses to my survey.
So now on to my tips for getting involved like a go getter:
Pick your battles
Getting involved at college takes ten times more effort than getting involved in high school. The organizations you join will be making a difference in your campus community and doing a lot for your college town. You can't join a college organization and expect to do zero work. There will be meetings to attend and things to do. If your college organizations aren't this organized, you should re-consider what you are getting involved in. Only commit to a few organizations your first semester and grow out if you feel comfortable doing so.
Attendance is not commitment
During the first of the year it is totally acceptable to attend many meetings and only go back to a few. Just because you go to a meeting once, it doesn't mean you have to go back every time. Only go back if you want to. Don't feel the need to sign in to those pesky organization sheets that they pass around, only sign up for them if you are genuinely interested. The last thing you need is a bunch of emails from a group that you don't really care about. Also there's no need to have those people trying to recruit you if you don't care about the organization.
College organizations are a great way to explore everything you might be interested in exploring! Explore your passions, your major, a sisterhood, whatever you decide to explore. If you can't explore things in college, when can you actually explore them. There are so many clubs for so many different things in college you'd be a fool not to at least try them once.
Don't be afraid to say no.
Just like with budgeting, it's important that you are okay with saying no to organizations. If you don't want to hold that leadership position or do that certain thing–you should feel confident in your ability to just say no. It feels strange that I am saying this to you now, but you will thank me when you have two tests and three papers that need written all in the next few weeks and an organization that wants you to paint a banner. Education comes first. Don't major in your involvements while you are in college.
Don't think you have to join just one type of club.
Greek life is great, but not the end all be all. There are plenty of successful people who have never went through Greek life. It is possible to be successful and not join a Greek organization. If you want to be Greek, Go Greek and have an amazing time. If that is not where you see your loyalties–don't push it. Greek organizations are great because they open a lot of doors, but they aren't a required part of the college experience. You may have to work a little harder to open those doors on your own, but you can still be successful without letters. Don't let anyone tell you any different.