Prioritize time, find clubs whose messages speak to your interests
I remember coming to Seton Hall as a freshman and knowing that I wanted to get involved on campus. I remember walking around the involvement fair and looking at all the options I had with clubs and organizations. I remember feeling really overwhelmed.
At first, it is really easy to try and get involved in every organization that sparks your interest but after a while, that just becomes tiring and is kind of unrealistic. While it is important to explore your interests and get yourself out there I think the most important thing of all is to really find an organization that speaks to you and put your heart and soul into it.
When I came to SHU three long years ago I went to about five general meetings for different groups I liked. But it was the ONE Campaign club that really captured my interested and, in the end, ended up getting the majority of my attention. Now, I am entering my second year in a co-presidency of the organization all because I made the decision my freshman year to dedicate myself to the message ONE exalts: helping to eradicate extreme poverty and preventable disease.
It also doesn’t matter how big or small a group is. ONE is small, and I see this as one of our strengths. Through my time in ONE, I realized that it is actually in these smaller groups that you really get to be a part of the programming and decisions right from the beginning. It is in organizations like this that you really get to feel like a part of something and can advance into higher positions.
While it may be tempting to just do whatever your friends are doing, joining a club using this strategy probably won’t keep your interest for too long. Not everyone has the same interests and by doing something just because someone else is you kind of sacrifice your own in favor of theirs. Don’t let the thought of going to that first meeting alone stop you. Chances are, everyone will be more than happy to have you, regardless of whether or not you’re alone. And, in the end, you will be happier to be there.
Bottom line: if you love it, go for it. If you love multiple things, do as much as you can. But really just find what speaks to you and realize that this can make college that much more exiting.
Alyana Alfaro is a senior journalism major from Randolph, NJ. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org