by Sarah Wu
Photograph courtesy of Noor Nassar
SPLASH is over. If you were looking to find a new group to join, it’s more than likely that you signed up for 20 different clubs, from a cappella and knitting to debate and dance. The trouble now is narrowing down your options. Here’s the Buzz’s guide to finding your (almost perfect) fit, whether you’re a freshman, a transfer student or an upperclassman looking for your passion.
Make a list of what you signed up for. Now cross off anything you were never genuinely interested in but were pressured into by some overly enthusiastic upperclassman waving a sign or wearing a very cool t-shirt. Hopefully, this will help you find a few clubs that would be a good fit.
Goals. No, not #goals—think about what goals you have for yourself. These could be enhancing your academic skillsets, trying something completely out of your comfort zone or making new friends. Some clubs fall under the academic category, while others are purely for learning a skill unrelated to your major.
Remember—you can always use the skills you learn in a seemingly unrelated club. Boston University has over 400 student organizations, and if you didn’t find something you like at SPLASH, you can apply to start your own student organization. Cultural, comedy, global initiatives, philanthropy, religious and vocal and music are just a few of the categories that these organizations fall under.
One category that is often forgotten is the Residence Hall Association (RHA). Each dorm or cluster of dorms has its own group responsible for enhancing undergraduate students’ experiences through events and programs. Events often happen on-site, so you won’t even have to leave your dorm to attend events.
If you’re looking to gain leadership and management experience, you can run for executive council positions.
Time commitment. Some groups require auditions and others don’t require attendance at events at all. Some clubs are very much open—come when you can, no pressure. The real question to ask yourself is how much time you want to dedicate to extracurriculars. If you like to keep busy, choose a more active club, and if you just want to get out of your dorm room every once in a while, choose an organization that lets you customize your experience.
The people. Think about whom you met at SPLASH—did they seem welcoming and passionate about their organizations? This can definitely translate into the environment of the group.
Talk to upperclassmen. Just like how you’d go to your siblings for advice when you were at home, you should get advice from other students. You can get more genuine reactions from people when they don’t have the recruitment pressure from SPLASH. You may be an upperclassman yourself, in which case you should talk to your friends and see if they’ve come across anything that has changed their college experiences.
A few things to keep in mind. Not everyone finds their perfect fit the first time around. You may lose interest in one club but attend an event for another and want to join instantly. Some people like to concentrate all their time into one organization, while others like to have a little of bit of this, a little bit of that.
We all have different interests. Sometimes, we are interested in something and find out we are absolutely horrible at it, and sometimes we have underlying talents for things we hate. Don’t let this dissuade you from trying something out for a few months. Students have joined these organizations for a reason, so it might just take time. College is often referred to as some of the best years of your life, and a lot of that experience stems on how you spend your time outside the classroom.