As a freshman in college, it can be very easy to get sucked into the idea that you should join as many clubs and organizations as your time can possibly allow. Everyone tells you that this is exactly the right way to succeed in college. Professors, upperclassmen, SOAR leaders, URSA majors and advisers all agree that the number one way to get connected to the school is to join campus organizations.
I would agree wholeheartedly, but with some reservations.
Getting involved in things you are passionate about is an excellent way for you to make friends and explore areas of your life outside of your major.
Joining organizations that will make you a better student, person or friend is a great resource that a university has to offer.
College is all about self-growth. Joining as many organizations as your planner can squeeze in order to make your resume somehow superior is not as productive as you might think.
Resumes are a freshman’s wet dream and worst nightmare. It is the ultimate goal to make that piece of paper the most impressive, jam-packed and substantive represention of you as a student, graduate and future workforce hopeful.
But this mindset could give you a lot of problems. Plenty of people who are not considered “over-involved” still get accepted or employed. Even more people have too many meaningless lines on their resumes that fail to articulate their importance.
When you list an organization or activity on your resume, you want to be able to say something significant about your experience — you should include reasons why you joined, stayed and invested in that organization. Often times when interviewing, a potential employer may go down your resume and ask you to tell them something about various experiences you have listed.
If you can barely remember the time you spent, the meetings you went to or the people you met, you may need to rethink listing that. If you joined because it sounded smart or would simply “look good” then your mindset is still in high school.
Being able to invest time and resources into a few really awesome organizations and explain how this group changed your life, your perspective or your college experience is a lot more interesting and worthwhile than listing eight clubs you barely attend or care very little about.
Joining clubs at Missouri State is as easy as it’s ever been— they come to you via the New Student Festival, GEP classes and Campus Link. But do not be tempted by the “fear of missing out,” or FOMO that is having a jam-packed schedule your freshman year.
If you operate well when you are busy, then you should look towards leadership within organizations to fill your time, rather than several meetings a week where you sit and watch the time go by.
There are over 350 student organizations on campus, close to 30 campus ministries and countless on-campus job opportunities.
Invest your time into the few areas that bring you the most joy or the ones that light you on fire with excitement. Anything less than that is not worth your time.