Here’s a quick primer on what you should be *really* getting out of your school org experience. Spoiler: It’s not clout.
School organizations have remained a staple of campus life for decades and will probably remain so for the decades to come because of how integral they are to the college experience. For better and for worse, orgs can have a major impact on college life. To some, the campus years are made or broken by their org activities, which is why we always see students who go for that BS Org life.
And even if you don’t see yourself committing 110% of your energy to orgs, there is fun to be had in joining one, or a couple. So, if you’re a freshie looking to join a school org or are feeling that your current organization is not doing it for you, here are some key pillars of the org experience to keep in mind.
JOIN ORGS THAT ALIGN WITH YOUR INTERESTS
As obvious as it sounds, it is important to join organizations that appeal to your skills and interests. Whether it be music, dancing, film, philanthropy, production, performing arts, or more, join an org that you feel is the right fit for you. Sure, you’re free to join orgs that are outside of your comfort zone and explore other possibilities, but there’s an inherent joy in being part of a group that shares the same interests as you.
DON’T JOIN ORGS JUST FOR THE CLOUT
We’ve all seen it before, the orgs that people want to join mainly for the bragging rights or the social status associated with being part of it. But organizations should not just be cliques. You want to join an org because you agree with its mission or the field it focuses on. But clout chase? That’s a no. Orgs should serve a deeper purpose than just boosting your social credit on campus. We guarantee you your social standing on campus will not be a factor to recruiters looking to hire fresh graduates.
JOIN ORGS WHERE YOU FEEL YOU CAN LEARN AND GROW
School organizations aren’t just things you put on your resume to make it look more impressive. There’s something to be gained if you put a good amount of time and effort into orgs. On the professional side, you get to hone certain skills, practice activities that relate to your prospective career, complement your degree with relevant experiences, and even connect with future employers. And personally, orgs give you the chance to meet, interact, and even become friends with students from different degrees and year levels. If you’re going to spend 100 pesos to join an org, might as well do it for one where you feel like you’ll learn a thing or two.
DON’T JOIN ORGS THAT PUT MEMBERS IN HARM’S WAY JUST TO FEEL LIKE THEY BELONG
A core trait of any school organization is the sense of community and feeling like you belong. Members should not feel like outsiders at an org and officers should foster a welcoming environment. But the sad reality is that some orgs end up feeling clique-ish or give other members the cold shoulder for refusing to do certain things. You’re supposed to be doing the things you enjoy in orgs, not act like you have to fake it until you make it.
Yes, organizational loyalty is a good quality for any member to have, but attaining that through questionable means is not the vibe. And even if certain tasks or initiations are just voluntary, peer pressure to keep up is real, which will sadly push some members to go beyond what they are comfortable with just to show that they belong. If your org is making you do things that are problematic in the name of org solidarity, that’s a red flag for you to go.
JOIN ORGS THAT MAKE YOU FEEL LIKE PART OF A COMMUNITY
Organizations can be that fun distraction from the hustle and bustle of school. But they shouldn’t be a place where you have to pretend to be someone you’re not just to fit in. The whole point of a college org is to be with people that accept who you are. And that doesn’t mean every member of the group should be besties with you, but you shouldn’t feel like an outsider to people who are supposed to share similarities with you. So, find your tribe where you feel encouraged and inspired to do the things you enjoy.
Continue Reading: Lessons From Former Org-Active Gen Z Student Leaders