Ever start to edit your resume and suddenly realize the only things you have on there are from high school?
Don’t feel connected or relevant on grounds?
Start to realize that you’re procrastinating because you have too much time rather than a lack thereof?
Or find yourself just plain bored and don’t know what to do?
Answer: Get plugged in on Grounds! It’s not that hard to do and it can solve all of the above problems!!
Despite seeming overwhelming sometimes, UVA actually provides amazing ways to get involved with all types of different organizations. But, for some more general advice, here are some quick and easy ways to make that first step for getting involved at a big state school!
Write down what you’re interested in! This can be anything from small hobbies to over-arching passions. When you have free time, what do you do? How do you choose to spend your time? While writing down what you’re interested in may seem trivial, you’d be surprised how many people on grounds share your interests. Plus, you don’t want to be involved in anything if it holds no value or interest for you in the first place
2. Write down what you already do
What classes are you taking right now? How do you already spend your free time? Do you do any community service? Basically, is there anything that you are already putting aside time for that you can also achieve by joining a club?
3. Write down what you used to do in high school
What were you involved in during high school? Did you play sports? Were you a part of an honor society? Did you participate in the arts? Were you in any clubs in high school? This is a great way to not only remind yourself of what you used to be interested in, but also to generate new ideas when you’re stuck. Even if you’re not planning on pursuing a career in some of the activities you did in high school, you might still enjoy doing them on the side in college.
4. Write down what you’ve always wanted to do/are curious about
What is your big goal in life? What major do you want to apply to? What’s your dream job? This line of questioning ensures that you’re not only interested in the club you join, but also that it will be a very relevant club and give you certain experiences for your resume. With this aspect added to your brainstorm, you’ll be able to remind yourself to look forward to your future (and help you avoid wasting your time).
Now do some investigating…
5. Go to a clubs fair at your university!
This is a great way to not only get some quick information about clubs you thought you’d might look into, but also to learn about new clubs you’ve never heard of before! Also, at an activities fair you can easily join the email list-serve of a lot of clubs and organizations at once, and then just leave later.
6. Ask around and see what your friends are involved in
Not only are clubs important for your future, but they are also a great way to build deeper friendships with students around you. Plus, if you have a friend already in the club, you are more likely to put the time aside in your schedule to attend the weekly or monthly meetings.
7. Look into the bigger organizations on Grounds for a more particular interest within a bigger group
Another underestimated resource includes the bigger, more university-affiliated groups on Grounds. For an example, check out your student council and the different committees it has! This route will not only help you find a smaller committee to identify with, but it will also further integrate you into your community by immediately associating you with a larger group of people on Grounds.
8. Start your own!
Last but not least, if none of the above methods lead you to your club of choice, think about making one of your own!! While there is a bit of paperwork to become a UVA affiliated club on grounds (a CIO), the payoff of doing something worthwhile to you is worth the menial effort!