Peeling back the wondrous world of student organizations
October 5, 2022
I have always been a social person. I enjoy talking to people, connecting, learning about others, game nights (my competitive edge can come across as a little aggressive — working on that), and everything that involves people. So, when I initially came to UM-Dearborn as an 18-year-old, I wanted to get involved and get to know people outside my own town and my background. As an adult, I still felt the same, returning to a campus that I hadn’t seen in 15+ years. Getting involved was important to me, both socially and professionally.
Our campus and student life are different, and I mean that in the best way. We have a ton of different organizations and the feel of a big university but in a perfectly packaged and not-so-overwhelming way. If you’re wondering if you should put yourself out there and get involved, the answer from me is a resounding YES!
First, joining a student organization can help you get out of that cycle of coming to campus, going to class, and leaving. Of course, if you want to get home and jump into your PJs to eat Nutella straight from the jar, I’m not judging (clearly speaking from experience). But there are so many great experiences that can open up for you through joining a student organization. A plus? Making friends and connections with other students who are like-minded and who you may have never crossed paths with without joining an organization. The friendships you make not only enhance your experience at UM-Dearborn but can last a lifetime (I am definitely speaking from experience on this one).
Second, and simply put, it’s fun! Of course, there are meetings that include organization business and planning, but if it is related to your major or passions it’s a good time all around.
Added bonus: you can help make decisions, plan events and get involved deeper if you want to through committees, different positions and leadership or executive boards. Your voice is heard in student organizations, whether that’s for leading change or just having a good time, it all matters.
Which leads me to my third point. Student organizations look stellar on your résumé. Any position you hold or event you help plan, fundraise, or work you do within the organization can become a great way to convey your leadership, passion, work ethic and experience. It shows a robust and well-rounded college experience that says you managed your time well between academics and getting involved on campus. I can tell you from experience interviewing at different companies, student organizations act as a great talking piece that highlights your skills in a professional and personal setting.
And finally, you grow and learn so much about yourself, your place in the world, and who you can be. Surrounding yourself with people interested in the same thing is great, but those people teach you so much about life and can help you see yourself differently. I have met some incredible peers along the way who have completely altered me in the best way. Without joining the student organizations I’ve been involved in over the years, I would have never crossed paths with some amazing people. I met two of my very best friends in my sorority who I have been learning from and growing with for the past 15 years. I connected with a wonderful person who helped me on my path toward fulfilling my passion for writing. Because of her, I entered several of my writing pieces in various competitions, most of which are published now. I crossed paths with a person who challenged me in my leadership and taught me how to adapt and be flexible to others while practicing empathy every step of the way. I met someone who is nearly half my age but who has become someone I look to for perspective, all while helping me see the importance of being genuine and transparent with people of any age. These are all things that have impacted me further than just the time in those organizations, they are life lessons I will always carry with me.
My experience in student organizations has spanned from social to professional. I have enjoyed mixers as a sorority member and budget planning meetings as a fundraising chair. I have stood at podiums directing important business as president and sat down with peers talking and crying about life. The biggest takeaway I have from it all is this: that student organizations help you become the best version of yourself. The added bonuses are great, but the personal fulfillment is a feeling that lasts for a very long time, beyond your years as a Dearborn Wolverine. Trust me, put yourself out there, the Nutella jar will still be there when you get home.
Check out all our campus has to offer through VictorsLink, you can explore upcoming events and the campus student organizations here: https://umdearborn.campuslabs.com/engage/
Blog written by April Marvin