If you're reading this, then congratulations! You are an accomplished student accepted into college, or maybe you are currently an underclassman. Either way, this is a big step towards your future, and it was all your accomplishments thus far that led you to this point. Now that you made it to college, it is understandable to feel overwhelmed with the amount of people and excitement going on. There is one event in the beginning of the semester that can help lead you in the right direction to find your place in the daunting environment you're now a part of—and that is your campus’s organization fair.
Take it all in
Whether or not your school holds it as an in-person event, it will likely be an overwhelming experience. I remember a large tent, with tables managed by crowds of overenthusiastic students standing idly by their tri-fold boards. Our event was divided by a multitude of categories: Cultural organizations, Sports, Community Service, Greek Life, Major-specific, you name it! I found success in clubs relating to my heritage as a minority student, as well as business centered clubs as a devoted Finance student. Think about your interests beforehand, and glance over the map or list of clubs to ensure you get time to see anything you were curious about.
Remember to be yourself
It can be hard to learn more about all the clubs and activities your school has to offer when it's presented all at once. In an effort to try and get the most out of the event, I took pictures of the tabling for those student organizations that I was even somewhat interested in. This allowed me to look on their websites or email them if I have any questions. If something even remotely interests you, attend their first meeting and see what it’s all about! The key is to not feel obligated to commit to anything if you find that it isn’t for you. These extracurriculars should be your escape from the pressures of classes; something to look forward to during the week.
Become familiar with leadership
Once you find yourself acquainted with a club that sparks your interest, look into leadership opportunities within the executive board. While this feels too early for internal board positions, such as the President and Vice President roles, there can often be representative spots available for freshmen specifically. Those are yours to take! Having a leadership position allows you to cement yourself to the organization. Instead of being a general member, you will have some sort of control that makes an impact with the added responsibility. Then comes the opportunity to showcase your leadership on your resume, pointing out to recruiters that you are strengthening your soft skills, while working on something you are passionate about.
Make your commitments
At the end of the day, there will be many choices to where you can spend your time when not attending classes and studying in college. Taking on these extracurricular activities gives you a way to hold yourself accountable and make an impact that will last longer than your four years in undergraduate education. Decide what is best for you, and not for others. You will likely meet lifelong friends by engaging in mutual interests, so be on the lookout for those who want to get to know you. Once your find your home base, your college campus will go from an enormous, daunting place to a comfortable array of opportunities.
Pearson Students, when’s your school's activities fair? Will you be in attendance?
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