It’s that time of year again when, as a student, you must make a very important decision. It’s the time to decide how you want to be involved. Some of the many ways to make your choice come in the form of applications, information sessions, meetings, Quad solicitation and even attending events. Many organizations’ applications are due in the next couple of weeks and maybe you’re thinking about joining one or even more than one. So how do you decide what organizations are right for you?
First off, don’t be afraid to ask members and officers of the organizations you’re considering questions about what they’re about, what they do and how you would fit in. I guarantee that they will be more than happy to tell you everything and more that you’ll want to know about everything they do and represent. Asking questions is one of the most important aspects of making your decision, and don’t limit your questions to just those on executive boards, ask other members what they’ve gotten from their experience.
Another chief piece of joining a group is to do research on what the role of that group is both on campus and off. Make sure you have a general idea of what they’re about even before asking questions in case they don’t do exactly what you thought they did. For example, if you’re looking for an organization that gives campus tours and you go to an organization that works with incoming freshmen it’s not exactly the same thing and you’ll have to start back at square one.
Aside from learning what you can give to and how you will fit into an organization, you should also consider what you’re going to get from the organization itself. What leadership skills are you going to learn that you can use in the real world? What kind of networking can you get done? Who are you going to meet who could potentially become your mentor and teach you things? These are the kinds of questions that you should think of on your own time before even filling out an application.
Whether you’ve been here for one semester or one year, it’s never too late for you to get committed to an organization and become the leader you’ve always wanted to be (or the leader you didn’t think you could be!). Many students have grown in ways they didn’t think they could by joining the right organization, whether it be a fraternity or sorority, cultural group, the Quidditch Team, or any number of groups that get you out there and into the Texas State community.