First things first: do not panic. UConn can feel very intimidating at first due to its large size. Getting involved with student organizations, however, can quickly turn that anxiety into comfort and make your transition from high school to college much easier.
Right now, you may not know where to begin, but I'm here to ease your nerves and show you how to get involved on campus.
No. 1: Discover new interests
With over 350 student organizations and university programs there is something for everyone, ranging from academic and volunteer groups to sports, special interests and Greek life.
This past semester one of my friends and I decided to try out rock climbing at the recreation center. We had no prior experience with climbing before, but after trying it out once we fell in love with the sport. Be open to everything because you might find your new favorite pastime.
No. 2: Make new friends
One of the most important reasons to get involved on campus is to meet new people. For some, it might be a little difficult to just strike up a conversation with a stranger (I am guilty of this), but when joining clubs you meet people with similar interests; it is the perfect ice breaker. Who knows – you may even form lifelong relationships.
No. 3: Resume Builder
Back in high school, you might have joined clubs and got involved to impress perspective colleges. If you want to stand out from the rest of the resumes in today’s job market, get involved! Future employers love to see prior experience and leadership skills.
If you want to go into marketing, join the advertising club. If your dream job is to work for ESPN, join WHUS, UCTV or The Daily Campus to get exposure covering sporting events. To reiterate, there is a club and organization for everything that will surely give you the skills and experience your desired field is looking for.
No. 4: Do better and feel better
Doing a quick Google search will show you that students who are involved on campus tend to have better grades, retention and graduation rates and have a more pleasant college experience overall compared to those who don’t get involved.
There are also dozens of clubs that give back to the community, help the environment and raise awareness for various illnesses, issues, etc. Last March, HuskyTHON – an event that supports the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center – raised over $500,000 with their annual dance marathon.
Doing your part to support a good cause is not just enjoyable, but fulfilling as well.
No. 5: It’s fun
By getting involved on campus you become more than just a student; you become immersed in UConn’s unique culture. UConn students are known for their husky pride, which is more than just going to a game and cheering for UConn.
You won’t get another chance to have a great college experience, so have fun and explore everything this university has to offer. Remember, what you get out of college is equal to what you put in, especially in Storrs.
How to get involved
Attend the Involvement Fair on Wednesday, Sept. 9 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Fairfield Way.
If you can't make it, you can log on to uconntact.uconn.edu to see a full list of all the organizations offered. Also keep your eyes and ears open for announcements about signing up for various clubs and events – check bulletin boards around campus and read the UConn Daily Digest.
Most clubs welcome new members any time during the school year, but note some do have sign up deadlines. So if you are feeling a little overwhelmed now, don't fret, because you still have time.