It feels sooo good to be back in LA! As much as I enjoyed my summer in Kansas City, it doesn’t compare to living less than 30 minutes from the beach. I got right back into the swing of things my first week of classes- catching up with classmate-turned-friends and going to events on campus. The Involvement Fair, where all of the recognized student clubs and organizations share with students what they do, was my first USC event of the school year. Being an executive board member of USC’s National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), I was able to help table at the Involvement Fair and share with interested students what NSBE does and invite them to our first general body meeting.
As a new student, the involvement fair was a little overwhelming for me because I found so many things I was interested in getting involved in. It was easy to get caught up in wanting to be so involved to forget that I am only one person who can’t be in multiple places at once. I found myself spreading myself way too thin the first few weeks of school trying to attend all of the different events/meetings being put on by the student clubs/orgs. Even though I enjoyed the orgs, I realized that I needed to pick a few that I could be more involved in rather than just be present in. Here are a few things I wish I had known when it came to joining clubs/orgs:
1) Don’t join just because your friend does.
If you weren’t interested in the organization before your friend joined, chances are you’re not going to be interested afterwards. Once you find the right that feels like it’s a good fit for you, you’ll be sure to make friends.
2) If you find that you aren’t interested in the club/org anymore, don’t feel obligated to stay in the club.
If after you have joined a club and find that you aren’t enjoying your time anymore or are no longer interested , there is no need to stay. Other members won’t be upset or dislike you if you leave, they understand that interests change and that their club isn’t the best fit for everyone.
3) It’s okay to join clubs/orgs later in the semester/school year.
Although clubs/orgs generally hold their informational meetings at the beginning of the fall semester, it is still possible to get involved later on. NSBE gets new members all throughout the school year as students find out about the org and decide to get involved. There are some clubs, however, where it isn’t possible to join later in the semester- ike athletic clubs who have team tryouts at the beginning of the semester.
Clubs and organizations are supposed to be groups you enjoy being a part of, not a chore. Do what makes you happy and feels right, and you’ll be sure to find the right club/org for you!