First-years should capitalize on student club options

Credit: Braden Kelner/Forum Editor Credit: Braden Kelner/Forum Editor

There are over 280 student organizations on campus recognized by the student government, each with members working to create something different. The campus’ organizations range from theater groups like No Parking Players to service-oriented ones like 1000plus to those that publish student work like readme. Each organization has its own social personality and level of commitment, and represents a unique student interest.

Finding the right niche can be pivotal in building strong foundations for a student’s four-year academic career.
The doorway to this niche is often found in campus organizations, especially at a university where students channel their passions through extracurricular activities just as strongly as through their studies. First-year students must not hesitate to explore these organizations in order to find their niche.

Some students might find the right organizations for them immediately, but many do not. Clubs are an invaluable resource for forming bonds with others who may not share academic interests. They also allow students to become deeply involved in something that they are passionate about — besides their majors.

Students can try organizations with the option to join when something sparks their interest, or leave if the experience fails to live up to their expectations.

Many students use the Activities Fair and initial group meetings to decide if they will enjoy organizations, but students should also feel comfortable talking to those in leadership positions — maybe even taking on important roles themselves — to decide whether or not the organization is a good fit.

The first year of college is a time for exploration — not only in coursework, but in the bonds students can pursue outside the classroom. It’s true an initial commitment to an organization does not mean a permanent commitment. However, the permanent commitments that students eventually make are sure to greatly impact their lives at Carnegie Mellon and beyond.