Getting involved in organizations at Texas A&M is practically a tradition. There are over 1,000 student organizations on campus with benefits ranging from making new friends to increasing leadership experience. As a bright-eyed freshman and sophomore, I joined so many organizations that it soon took over my life. Although I loved the organizations I was in, I found myself getting terrible grades, spending less time with friends, and not taking care of myself. My busy schedule was causing me to not enjoy the organizations I once loved, but view them as something else to check off of my list.
I reached a point during my sophomore year where I was involved in five organizations and needed to make a change going into my junior year. I decided to commit to only those things I was truly passionate about and had time for. Having one or two commitments I loved was much more fulfilling than five commitments I liked.
These are the key things I learned:
- Quality over quantity ALWAYS. Join organizations that make you feel fulfilled in order to prevent yourself from becoming jaded.
- Don’t do something just for your resume or to fit a mold. Every organization has value and learning opportunities, and participating in something off the beaten track can actually have many advantages.
- Never leave a leadership position unless you have expressed your concerns and have offered help to find a suitable replacement, but don’t feel like you need to stay out of necessity. It is perfectly okay to quit an organization you no longer have time for or believe in.
- Make friends in organizations! The people you meet are the best part of any organization.
- Don’t get discouraged if you get rejected from an organization! There are so many students that apply and it should not make you feel any less than yourself.
Now, as a senior, I am much less involved than I was my sophomore year. I am able to enjoy my life, focus on school, and have time to do things that I love. I am truly thankful for all of the experiences that I was able to partake in these past couple of years, ranging from making friends for a lifetime in Fish Camp, to meeting older Aggies and prospective students, and gaining valuable leadership experience through the Zachry Leadership Program and the Memorial Student Center. I am also thankful that I can focus on the things I love rather than spreading myself too thin.
The College of Engineering offers a wide variety of opportunities to get involved in organizations.