Today’s post is by campus correspondent Devon Abelman, a sophomore at the University of Florida. Find out how you can become a campus correspondent, too!
I’ve grown up with the word “sorority” constantly being thrown around. My mom was a member of one and her “big sister” lived with us for some time when I was little. Joining a sorority always seemed like a natural step I would take once I started college.
When I received my acceptance letter to University of Florida, a school where Greek life is prevalent, I planned on rushing my mom’s sorority. Halfway through rush, however, I noticed that Greek life wasn’t for me. I quickly realized that just because every other person at my college seemed to be a part of a sorority or fraternity, it’s not the only thing at school you can get involved in.
Find Your Passion
Take a moment to figure out what matters to you. Whether it is a political party, religion, sport, area of study or hobby, and write it down. Focus on things such as your major, your favorite causes, your career goals and activities that you enjoy. This list will help guide you in figuring out what extracurricular activities you want to be a part of.
Seek Out Clubs at Your School
At a big university like UF, there are over 700 student organizations. There is everything from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Club to Habitat for Humanity. No matter the size of your school, you are bound to find an organization that caters to one of the passions you wrote down on your list.
Go on your campus website to find out about different open houses and club fairs to learn more about organizations in a non-binding and open environment. Pick two or even three, depending on your course load, that mean the most to you and attend their meetings.
If sports are your thing, you’re not limited to student organizations. Check out the recreation and fitness center on campus. Many colleges offer free instructional classes and intramural sports to get involved in.
Take An Active Role
Don’t join an organization just because it will look good on your resume or because it sounds cool when you tell people you are a member. Join because you have a passion to get involved and want to meet others who share your passion. Attend every meeting and event the organization hosts — they’re the perfect way to connect with other members. Think about applying for an executive position. It will give you something to do besides studying and you’ll feel like you are really a part of something.
Joining a sorority or fraternity may seem like the only way to make friends and get involved at an American school where Greek life is big, but it may not be the right association for you. Follow your passion and find an organization that is the best fit for you and will help you get the most out of your college experience.
Devon Abelman is a sophomore at the University of Florida. She is involved with many student organizations, including UF Hillel’s chapter of Challah for Hunger, Society of Professional Journalists, and Reitz Union Board of Entertainment.