There’s more to college than just impressive academic outcomes. Having something to look forward to in your free time or between classes and lectures makes the journey exciting! Pursue your interests and maximize your college life by taking an active part in college clubs and organizations.
Every US college and university come with their selections of organizations and are usually operated by the alumni or the current students. Activities are largely based on the field of study at the school, although clubs focus on the students’ specific interests. As you scout for the most suitable group, make sure this will not only cover your interests but also help you develop and share your leadership skills and explore better opportunities to network.
Looking for the best school organizations? You can find several student clubs for almost practically anything that interests you. Regardless of your hobbies and pursuits, there will always be active societies in that field!
As you prepare for higher education, it helps to start your research about these organizations before you enroll. That way, you won’t have a hard time choosing and joining groups when you step into college.
- Types of College Clubs and Organizations
- College Clubs and Organizations: The Benefits
- Things to Consider when Joining a College Club and Organization
- Fraternities and Sororities: Should You Join Them?
- The Pros of Joining Fraternities and Sororities
- The Cons of Joining Fraternities and Sororities
- Greek Organizations: Should You or Should You Not Pledge?
Types of College Clubs and Organizations
Academic and Educational Organizations
Every college and university has its student organization. Build a strong network by joining these societies. For example, if you have a major in business or entrepreneurship, you can check out organizations such as IEN (Idaho Entrepreneurs Network) at the University of Idaho. This group organizes students interested in creating non-profit organizations or businesses, providing them with adequate events and programs that help them become top-notch entrepreneurs in the future. Psychology majors can also join the school’s Psi Chi, and Psychology Club (Psi Chi) to find a community that encourages, maintains excellence in scholarship, stimulates, and advances the science of psychology.
However, students are not only interested in the field of social sciences. Take into consideration Colorado State University‘s Aeronautics and Astronautics student organization. They constantly grow members in their community because it provides better opportunities, especially for those who want to learn more about astronautics and aeronautics. Or, if you’re into architecture, the school’s American Society of Interior Designers is where you can find equally-driven students like you who believe that interior design is a very multi-faceted and power profession.
The “honor society” is another type of student organization, along with special societies that you can join if you have outstanding academic performances in a specific field. Berkeley College, for instance, has five special societies covering fields in management, business, financial, legal, and marketing studies.
Recreation and Sports Organizations
US colleges and universities are notable for their sports teams and other diverse activities that students love to engage in. Regardless of the sport you love, you can certainly find an organization or club with members who share the same passion as you. Are you into dancing? Then it will make you so happy knowing you can find several organizations created of students who are also into dancing. Colorado State University’s Swing Dance Society is one where you get to experience the Big Band Swing Era via dance, music, or history. You can also find other activities in this organization, both off and on campus, like a weekly swing dance.
Or maybe you are into hockey? Then the Soccer Club or the Club Hockey of New Hampshire University is a good choice. You get to meet students who love this sport, and you can even meet and play with them regularly, just like what the University of Idaho’s Parkour Club does who come and practice parkour together.
Religious and Spiritual Organizations
Since US colleges and universities are often characterized by multiculturalism and diversity, you can find several faith-based groups created by students who wish to get in touch with their culture and reach out to others who share the same background. This is specifically helpful, especially for students who are away from home.
Colorado State University‘s Muslim Student Association helps Muslim students in CSU in all fields of their cultural, educational, social, or spiritual lives. The Adventist Christian Fellowship of the University of Idaho is another recognized student organization where students can enjoy outdoor activities, bible studies, and regular fellowships.
Community Service Organizations
You can find several student organizations that center on community service fields like those that involve human rights activism or those geared towards minimizing poverty. Some seek to heighten environmental sustainability and protection, while some promote generosity by providing better opportunities for the needy in society.
Organizations like the Students for Environmental Action at Southern New Hampshire University is for those who wish to get involved in environmental sustainability by promoting sustainable lifestyles and practices. The University of Idaho has the Artists Striving to End Poverty composed of students driven by values like generosity, cultural awareness, and self-worth. They want to provide better chances for community members and children in engaging self-expression.
Political or Multicultural Organizations
A political organization is a perfect platform for facing crucial issues, like supporting a candidate sharing similar political views as yours or connecting with like-minded professors and students. These organizations are specifically helpful if you are studying political science or plan to hold public office.
Political and multicultural clubs also pave your way to networks for civic actions, organizing initiatives, and better opportunities to connect with political leaders at various political levels. These organizations may invite civic leaders or politicians to speak, thus opening more doors for students to develop strong relationships with influencers.
Media and Publication Organizations
If you are creating a writing or interested in journalism, try joining your school’s media and publication organizations. Your campus’ magazine or newspaper is a good start. You can also find other societies like the Animation and Film Club that are specifically helpful for students who love this particular study line.
Advertising clubs and radio organizations are also great environments for those who love to hone their radio presentation skills or improve their present advertising campaigns and the likes.
Student Government Organizations
If you prefer to get involved every time the Board makes critical decisions, check out a student government organization. Every US college and university will always have a student government council. The goal of this organization is primarily to empower and educate students about their rights in the school. They also advocate in helping the student body engage with policymakers to improve and maintain access to education. Also, joining a student organization can significantly boost your resume.
Aside from the usual college organizations, there are also clubs you can join in honing your passion and making your resume looking impressive.
Joining a specific sport in college, whether it’s swimming or basketball, or football, is a great addition to your professional resume because this will tell potential employers how much of a great team player you are. Employers easily choose people with this skill because any company will need team players who can effectively achieve their goals. They also prioritize those who have exuded the ability to balance both their passionate activities and academics.
Being a writer for your school’s magazine or newspaper demonstrates how accustomed you are when dealing with deadlines. The world of magazines and newspaper publications is cutthroat, constantly needing employees that can meet stringent deadlines. Students who demonstrate these qualities while still balancing school and other extracurricular activities will spark potential employers’ interest in the future.
This club is a combination of students with varying strengths in their fields of interest. Whether you are majoring in business, engineering, or even in arts and sciences, this club is the best gathering ‘spot’ because you get to interact with your co-students who you have similar knowledge with you.
College students who actively participate in entrepreneurship clubs usually improve their leadership, public speaking, problem-solving, and teamwork skills. When practiced diligently, you’ll be able to carry on these skills even after college. These traits are just some of the skills employers look for when hiring new employees.
When you actively participate in academic clubs, you get to expand your knowledge practically in any given sphere, whether it’s a math club, a history club, an environmental club, a psychology club, and the likes. When you join such clubs, you get to gain helpful researching skills in a more proactive approach.
College Clubs and Organizations: The Benefits
When you involve yourself with the happenings on your campus, you can easily make new friends by joining student organizations. This will then lead to many learning experiences, leadership opportunities, and a growing network with your field professionals
Below are the benefits you get from joining college clubs and organizations:
Sometimes, students tend to think too much about their academic life’s overwhelming demands that they opt not to join college clubs. But if you try to look at it, joining college organizations is one of the best ways to achieve impressive time management skills. With these clubs, you will learn how to create and practice proper balance between your academics and extracurricular activities. Studies reveal that students who work hard 20 hours a week in school are likely to increase their GPA in the end. The busier you are, the more focused you become. Balancing academics and college club activities can help you become more structured. You do so many things in such a short time. Thus it will teach you the importance of time management. So might as well get involved.
During your high school years, perhaps you weren’t able to involve yourself with anything at all. In college, you suddenly became interested in gaining new experiences with your co-students. Or maybe, you wished you could squeeze in your talent in planning school events. Joining school clubs can help you with that. You can gain so many helpful experiences when you join college organizations. Keep in mind that in the real world, employers will not only look at your GPA. They are also interested in what you do apart from your academic life.
Say you took part in the preparation of a huge campus event. Your experience that came with this is something you can apply even after college. Thus, if you like to have that extra skill outside of the four walls of your classroom, then join a college club- ideally, one that is tied to your major. Most universities today have a long list of clubs and organizations, so it’s very easy to find the one that suits your wants.
Student organization = networking
By joining a student organization, you gain a network of professionals in your interest field in your contacts list. There are so many schools with alumni groups that have direct lines to thousands of alumni. Considering how networking plays a crucial role in today’s world, joining college clubs can help you reach your goals, thanks to the organization’s solid network.
Aside from acquiring real-world skills when you join a college organization, college clubs are also fun! Over time, the club’s members will eventually become your good friends and greatest cheerleaders, this plus the fact that you are doing something you love in the organization. Seeing thousands of students going to an event that you helped come to life is a satisfying experience! Whether it’s a food tasting club, a campus activities club, or fundraisers for your chosen charity, all these will carve a memory you will never forget.
Sense of community
The best and faster way to meet people in school. Everybody knows starting college life is very scary and challenging. But when you join a student org, this can help you smoothly adjust to life in college. Check for clubs that interest you, as this is likely the very place to meet other people sharing your interest. Meeting new people may seem intimidating at first, but don’t worry. Clubs have so many icebreakers facilitated when new students join in. Still, joining clubs that you’re most interested in will be very easy for you because you are likely to meet members who are of the same wavelength as yours. Plus, you will be meeting regularly in a month, so it’s easier to build friends over time.
Skill set building
When you get involved in campus clubs, it helps you build and develop your skill set. Working and participation help your soft skills. According to Alina Tubman, a career coach, college organizations are the best sources of boosting your professional skills like teamwork, leadership, prioritization, and communication. These skills are needed for future job applications and internships. Furthermore, organizations and clubs also allow you to develop hard skills that you can (or can’t) learn inside the classroom.
Things to Consider when Joining a College Club and Organization
All colleges and universities have a handful of clubs and organizations for their students. That way, students will not only focus on their academic performance but also spend time exploring their interests with students who share the same interests as them.
The main challenge here is figuring out which org will work best for you and what you must consider before applying.
Do you have the luxury of time? Joining a college organization means you have to have the luxury of time to balance your academics and club schedules. For instance, you want to try the sports club. Are you willing to set aside some extra time for your regular training on top of your academics?
Are you armed with the energy? As you contemplate joining a club, ask yourself: are you armed with the energy needed to join a club? Most of the time, organizations sponsor events after school hours. Others even compel you to sacrifice your time during the weekends.
Do you love culture? The culture of a school organization is very critical. Does your personal belief align with the club you intend to join or to the people you spend most of your time with? For example, you plan to join an international organization. Do you think you can easily adapt to interacting with different types of people coming from different backgrounds?
Are you equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge? While some college clubs are there to brush up on your current skills, some may require you to complete tests and interviews before you be allowed membership. For instance, media organizations will need to validate your love for writing before you can apply, or sports clubs will have to check if you have the right aptitude and skills for their sport. Are you skillful and knowledgeable enough to match what they are scouting for?
Fraternities and Sororities: Should You Join Them?
Fraternities and sororities are called Greek letter organizations. They are collectively called the “Greek life” and are some of the most popular social organizations in universities and colleges.
The majority of US Presidents have been members of a fraternity. Although you don’t dream of becoming the most powerful man in the country, Greek life will offer you a handful of advantages that you can carry on even after college. Sadly, so many students try to avoid these organizations thinking that these are nothing more than partying and cliques. But there are real-life benefits of becoming a member of a college fraternity or sorority.
However, Greek life is not for everyone. For instance, if sharing bathrooms isn’t your cup of tea, then this is not the college experience suitable for you. Suffice it to say, joining a fraternity and sorority comes with some pros and cons. So if you are contemplating about pledging, rushing, and doing anything related to that, then you might want to read this first.
The Pros of Joining Fraternities and Sororities
When you are in college, networking plays a critical role in your overall college life experience. Greek life gives you one of the toughest social foundations with a strong network of peers. These organizations have long been proven to build the best networks that are particularly beneficial to students regarding recommendations, internships, or employment. You gain connection within your university and on a national level, and we must admit, this comes with a handful of long-term benefits.
Today, there are almost ten million alumni Greek life members out there. When you join fraternities and sororities, this automatically makes you a part of an exclusive club where you are afforded instant connections with any of its members. As you go on with your college life and career, these people become more valuable for listing references, landing interviews, or obtaining positive letters of recommendation.
Some secrets about leading a Greek life are the many good things these organizations have. Many fraternities and sororities work so hard to instill a culture of philanthropy and service. While philanthropic activities differ from each organization, most of the chapters provide ways to involve themselves in community service projects and philanthropic endeavors. Some even delegate leadership positions focusing only on the club’s philanthropy.
Each national level of these organizations awards its most outstanding chapters. These awardees are very much involved in community service and philanthropy that some of them even raise hundreds and thousands of dollars just to keep up with their charitable projects.
Social Identity and Skills
What do most US presidents and some of the top executives of Fortune 500 firms have in common? All of them are proud members of Greek clubs during their college years, according to Fraternity Advisor. When you become members of fraternities and sororities, your leadership skills are cultivated. You gain a clear sense of social identity, and as you go along, you will earn about playing well and playing fair with others.
Even if you’re the smartest during your senior year in high school, you still have so much to learn as you enter college. Joining Greek life can help you with that. By participating in their traditions, joining collaborative activities, and understanding your chosen Greek org’s organizational structure, experiencing all these leads to your chances of creating valuable opportunities to coordinate, lead, and contribute in the future.
It’s about having fun!
Joining the right fraternity or sorority is fun, especially if you choose to join the right house. Your opportunities of having a great time surrounded with friends, and engaged in events almost all the time, is just endless. Greek houses are where you can find the weirdest, the wildest, and even the wackiest traditions in college life. From toga parties to mattress races, intra-campus rivalries, or wresting, your fun in the Greek house is infinite. Of course, “fun” has a different meaning for everyone. Before you join Greek life, make sure that your idea of having a blast aligns with what the organization practices.
The Cons of Joining Fraternities and Sororities
Initiation rites (although not all of them)
Most incoming fraternity and sorority aspirants (often referred to as pledges) are often submitted to emotional, physical, and psychological manipulation of some sort regularly. Technically, hazing is forbidden, but we all know this is still very rampant and is fairly widespread. In North American campuses alone, at least one hazing fatality is recorded since 1959. That is why it’s important to check any Greek club’s culture and history before you sign up.
However, not all hazing is grim. Some are just nothing more than mildly demeaning and annoying practices. In most cases, pledges are asked to complete pointless and trivial tasks that are often publicly embarrassing. Accordingly, this is for pledges to learn their place and prove their worth to the organization. Before you join, ask yourself two things: will it make you a better person? Would you allow someone you love to do the same thing?
Probability of drug and alcohol abuse
In any Greek organization, illegal drugs and alcohol are very common hazards. The majority of deaths caused by hazing have often resulted from too much binge drinking. Keep in mind that alcohol abuse is not only limited to aspiring members, nor they even stop after pledging is done. Often, Greek life practices a culture of drug and alcohol abuse. When abused, it makes the young and inexperienced drinkers easily get into trouble just to get accepted.
Stringent rules on commitment
During the whole duration of pledging, say goodbye to your free time! Nearly all the hours outside your academics will be spent completing tasks, meetings, or just showing up in the chapter house. With no proper time management, these commitments can largely impact your studying and sleeping schedule. Some schools implement restrictions on rushing, especially in your first semester.
Nonetheless, a lot of first-year college students still rush. To balance your new college life adjustments and initiation process, you need to have impeccable time management skills. But this does not end the moment your pledging is done. As you become an official member of a Greek organization, you still need to attend mandatory meetings throughout the school year. Add up parties, service dates, and conventions. You are required to attend these activities regardless of how busy you are with your other school-related tasks.
Greek Organizations: Should You or Should You Not Pledge?
Whether you will join or not, the decision is all up to you. Before you commit, practice due diligence to do your research. Check the Greek organizations in your school, along with other of the college’s clubs and organizations. The bottom line is to find groups that will fit your cultural identity, interests, and passions.
If you hate partying, avoid houses with noise violation tickets and campus records. If you’re after an inclusive experience, choose a Greek org with a diverse membership. Your choice will be based on the kind of college experience you want to experience. Nevertheless, you have one guarantee should you pursue joining a Greek club: you will know yourself even better, which is the very essence of why you are in college.
As you are just starting college, it may feel like the whole world is your oyster. Between attending classes, meeting people, and getting involved on campus, college is the perfect opportunity full of possibilities. And since you want to take advantage of the whole college experience, you are geared to seizing as many chances as possible. However, what you don’t know is that it comes with its own set of perks when you get involved on campus. College life is not just about meeting new faces. It’s also about joining groups and clubs that can help you hone to become successful after college.
Joining college organizations and clubs can give you a handful of benefits, indeed. This is the perfect way to start obtaining hands-on experiences and acquire impressive skills easily noticed by potential hiring managers. Along with the handful of benefits listed above, it’s safe to say that joining college clubs matters a lot. Don’t box yourself in the four walls of your college dorm. Get out there and explore the many opportunities that the college has to offer!