My First Time Going to a Student Org Meeting

I was terrified the first time I went to a student org meeting. But why? I had been to a ton of high school clubs, and had always been involved, so what was different here? Maybe it was the fact that I went to high school with a class size of 150, so when I went to meetings in high school, chances were good I was going to see somebody I knew, or at least know their names. At Ohio State, there are more than 46,000 undergraduate students, so, a bit different. Maybe I was nervous because I was going to Psych Club and I was just a freshman, only having taken the beginner psychology class, so I was going to be so less informed as everyone else. Or, maybe I was nervous because everyone always talked about the importance of clubs and being involved. I needed to be the perfect amount of involved.

Lesson 1: The First Meeting, Nobody Knows Anybody

I walked in expecting everyone to already know each other, but the reality is, everyone was like me, just sitting quietly and exchanging small talk with each other, and it was just a relaxing environment. I sat down and introduced myself to the person sitting next to me. We started with the beginning questions that everyone asks when they first meet in college, such as, “What’s your name, major, and where are you from?” We started with some small talk about our psychology classes and what we liked and didn’t like. And then the meeting started.

Lesson 2: The Executive Board Wants to Hear from You

The executive board of the club started with a few introductions of themselves, and then explained the basics of the club, such as how dues worked, when they would be meeting, and other small things like t-shirts. Then they asked us to fill out a survey to see what we wanted to learn about. This was my time to write down psych club topics that I wanted to learn about in my free time. They were looking for good suggestions in order to craft the club content to the students, because at the end of the day, student organizations exist to get students interested and learning about things that they won’t learn in the classroom. This means that executive boards want to hear from you, so don’t be afraid to share your opinion and what you want to see the club do, whether that’s meetups outside of club hours to get food, or volunteering within the scope of the club.

Lesson 3: Don’t Be There for the Resume

It’s important to note that when you are deciding what clubs you want to spend your time at, identify which clubs you are excited to go to, and which ones are for your resume. It’s pretty obvious if you aren’t into the club if you are just there to look involved. When you are putting clubs on your resume, make sure to elaborate on what you did in each club, including volunteer day trips or projects you did–anything to illustrate how your involvement affected your learning.

Last Thoughts

Trying to decide which student organizations you want to attend and put your time toward can be a real struggle. You have to start deciding what you want to spend your time doing and how you think you will be able to handle them along with your classwork. One piece of advice I can give you is to just enjoy your time. Make friends around you in your clubs and try to make it a break in your day, not something to stress about. 

For Some, This One Thing May Be the Biggest Surprise of Ohio State

WHAT IS IT?

For me, this aspect of Ohio State was evident even before classes began my first year. During my summer orientation, I quickly noticed I was one of the few students there with a minority identity. I remember thinking multiple things at the time, most of them not so positive. I was surprised, nervous, and even a little disappointed–can you relate to these feelings?

THE REALITY OF IT

Ohio State’s enormous student body consists of so many different people; however, the vast number of people doesn’t necessarily guarantee anything about the numbers of those who identify as a minority. Despite the one lump sum of the student body, the reality of Ohio State is that when the student population is scaled down to an underrepresented population, there’s a noticeably smaller number of people. I mean, it’s literally in the name: underrepresented. They lack in numbers. I could bore you with statistics right now, which I won’t, but believe me when I say that there is plenty of data (counts, percentages, surveys, etc.) that show that it may be tougher to find a sense of community on campus if you’re a minority. However, as a second-year student, I went through it myself not too long ago, and I’m here to help elaborate on what you can do.

FINDING YOUR COMMUNITY ON CAMPUS

“Where do I go?”

That is essentially the big question. I know, I asked myself that same question. You may be as concerned as I was about trying to find a group of people that look like you and can relate to culture, experiences, backgrounds, language, heck, even your name! It’s important, I understand. You may or may not have had that community back home or in high school, but Ohio State DOES have these communities; you just have to be willing to look around! There are plenty of opportunities and resources to take advantage of here. Ohio State WANTS you to have that sense of community.

WHAT WORKED FOR ME

  1. Join a club/organization that revolves around your identity – This one is pretty straightforward. With 1,300+ registered student organizations, there are so many opportunities to meet those who share your identity. You can check out the full directory of registered student organizations in the Discover app on your iPad or online. Save some time and use those filters!
  2. Take advantage of events held by the university – Ohio State, like I said, wants you to be included in your respective community. Therefore, multiple events are offered throughout the entire school year for every identity! Save the dates and get some more info about these events through the Multicultural Center webpage.
  3. Access your resources – A university dedicated to helping you find community means numerous resources are available to you as a student; these resources are great ways to get connected with your community through involvements, programs and just general support! Check out all the ways Ohio State supports diversity initiatives and resources on campus.

BEING ISOLATED

“No one here looks like me.”

Perhaps you’ve thought this exact thing at an event for your major, through involvement with something else, or just sitting in class. I know how it is, I’ve experienced it myself. It’s a bit daunting to just look around and notice that. Even being a Peer Leader, where there are 28 of us, it’s the same story. I’ve had many talks about being and feeling isolated, and although I’m probably not much older than you, I do have some words of wisdom and encouragement that I want to share.

Be confident in yourself and your identity. If you stand out, you might as well stand out to the best of your ability. Use that as leverage to break stereotypes (which exist, unfortunately), be a role model, and represent your community in the best way possible.

If this post really spoke to you, go check out those links! Thank you for reading!

5 Ways to Meet New People on Campus

Welcome Week was fun and busy with hundreds of events all over campus, making it easy to meet new people through opportunities that were already planned for you–all you had to do was show up! Still, some new students do not make great connections during Welcome Week, and if you’re one of those students, you’re not alone…and you don’t have to worry. Here are five great ways to meet new people (now that Welcome Week is over):

Leave your door open in your residence hall (when you’re inside your room)

If you are living in a residence hall, you’ve learned by now that you are surrounded by many other students living on your floor, many of whom are new just like you. If you are just hanging out in your room, leave your door open. As people walk by, invite them to join you. Who knows, your new best friend could be living down the hall!

Introduce yourself to someone in class

If you get to class a few minutes early, introduce yourself to the person next to you. Maybe you will make a new friend, or–at the very least–a new study buddy. The First Year Success Series is also a great place to introduce yourself. Everyone in attendance at your session will be a first-year student, too, and since you all selected the same session, you already have something in common! Ask a student why they choose the particular session–it could be a great conversation starter!

Ask someone new to get lunch

Everybody has to eat, so next time you are heading out for a meal, ask someone new to join you. Maybe this is someone in your residence hall, or someone in class. Maybe you choose to venture out and try a new dining location.

Attend a fitness class at the RPAC

Group fitness classes at the RPAC are a fun way to get exercise. There are a bunch of different types of classes, and you can find one you are interested in through the Recreational Sports website. Just like class, get there a couple minutes early to introduce yourself to someone new.

Check out a student organization

There over 1,200 student organizations on campus. Find one you are interested in and plan to attend a meeting. Many student organization accept new members any time throughout the year. This is a great way to find people with similar interest as you.

Still not feeling connected? Reach out to me or to any Peer Leader in First Year Experience–we want to help you find your fit at Ohio State!

It’s Not Too Late to Join a Student Org!

After already completing your first semester at Ohio State, some of you may feel it is too late to get involved on campus.

While some students get involved right away, many students choose to focus on their classwork when they first come to school, and choose not to have outside distractions. With all of the changes and adjustments, your first semester is often more overwhelming than many would assume.

While some dive in with full force, many choose to test the water first!

After the rush of Welcome Week, and the fall and spring involvement fairs, you may fear it is pointless or too late to join an organization partway through the year. However, it is not too late take that jump!

girl-on-diving-board-1

As a matter of fact, many organizations are still seeking or recruiting members! We’ve talked to a few organization leaders from across campus who can provide a bit more information about some of these available and awesome opportunities.

 

I. American Association of University Women

Name: Cassidy Horency

Status: Currently seeking new members

We are a new organization on campus and this is only our second semester, so we are looking for more people! It’s part of a national organization and members can apply for scholarships and grants through it. We usually have pizza. It’s better late than never to join an organization.

II. Buck-I-Serv

Name: Allie Loughry

Status: Currently seeking new members

First-year students should apply for a summer Buck I Serv trip because it’s a great way to give back to the community, spread the Buckeye spirit and meet new people!

III. DanceSport

Name: Jessica Gregory

Status: Currently seeking new members

It’s a great way to meet new people and meet people with similar interests. Members can benefit from this organization because you learn how to dance tons of different ballroom dances and can take your new skills to places around Columbus like La Fogata, which has salsa dancing nights. We are constantly growing and looking for new members.

IV. Delta Sigma Phi fraternity

Name: Alec Wuorinen

Status: Currently seeking new members

Great way to meet new people (lots!) and learn great things about yourself. With more friendships comes greater diverse connections!

V. Institute of Industrial Engineers

Name: Gunnar Smyth

Status: Currently seeking new members

All Industrial Engineering students should join because we go to both the regional and national conference to meet other IEs, learn about the major, and connect you to job opportunities. Leadership positions are available.

VI. John Glenn Civic Leadership Council

Name: Andy Krupin

Status: Currently seeking new members

We host a wide range of meeting activities! There’s something for everyone. Between current events jeopardy and different service projects, the CLC is a great way to learn about your community and make a difference in it, too. The more people we have, the bigger potential impact we can make.

VII. Muslim Students Association

Name: Yousef Yacoub

Status: Currently seeking new members

If you’re a Muslim or interested in Islam, I definitely recommend coming to our weekly general body meetings on Fridays at 6 p.m. in the Interfaith Room on the 3rd floor of the Union, where we host world-renowned Islamic scholars to learn more about the Islamic faith.

VIII. Ohio Staters, Inc.

Name: Joanie Garcia

Status: Currently seeking and recruiting new members

Ohio Staters, Inc. is the oldest student service organization on campus that promotes the welfare and traditions of the university. This org. helps connect students with the deep roots of the university and network with faculty while creating a close community of thinkers, believers, and doers.

IX. Phi Alpha Delta

Name: Leila Khamees

Status: Currently seeking new members

It’s specifically for people interested in law (it’s a pre-law fraternity). We learn if law school is for us, how to apply, what to expect on the LSAT and in law school. Also, we all become super close and have tons in common!

X. Phi Delta Epsilon: Pre-med fraternity

Name: Jenna Murray

Status: Currently recruiting new members (in the fall)

Phi Delta Epsilon is always looking for new members who want community and support through the pre-med process. Meet people who have taken similar classes, form study groups, and be friends!

XI. Psychology Student Ambassadors

Name: Myra Saeed

Status: Currently recruiting new members (for fall)

They should apply to Psych Ambassadors early this semester if they’re psych majors because we do a lot of working with incoming freshmen and program a lot of social and educational events. Also, we’re super tight with the department and that’s awesome!

XII. UNICEF-OSU (United Nations Children’s Fund)

Name: Caroline Tritt

Status: Currently seeking new members

This is a fantastic organization if you’re interested in children’s rights. We educate, advocate, and fundraise on behalf of the U.S. fund for UNICEF to help children in over 190 countries receive an education, get clean drinking water and nutritious foods, immunizations, help with HIV/AIDS, and provide relief in emergency situations. UNICEF is the most efficient humanitarian organization in the world and all the money we raise is doubled through an outside fund! We also talk about current issues affecting children!

 

Just remember:

It’s not too late to find your niche on campus. It’s sometimes less intimidating to join an organization in the winter because fewer events are going on than in the fall! You’ll be able to hit the ground running after summer break!” ~Stephanie Demos