Ready to find your community?
A wide variety of student programs and organizations are available in the College of Engineering. Find the perfect community for you!
After a busy week of classes and homework, you wish to relax for a few hours, if not a day. The most common options are play a game, go for a drive, bike/run, read a book, watch that long pending movie or, best of all, sleep. While these activities can be enjoyed alone, some may want to interact with others in their free time. This post is about finding those groups and the advantages that come with them. Many people assume engineers are introverts, but the reality is they interact actively with similar people, irrespective of how big the group is. The problem comes when they have to try something completely out of their expertise.
For example, you want to paint and sketch in your free time but are trying them for the first time. One way to go about it is to read articles from the internet and collect all the required material. By the end of shopping and getting back home, you won’t have much motivation left when the next week’s homework starts getting into your head. Now imagine having a friend who can lend you some material for that one small sketch or painting. The time you wish to relax can be properly utilized instead of stressing out on shopping and other distractions. But how do you meet that one friend who can help you?
The six degrees of separation is highly plausible among 70,000+ students on campus. Showing up at one event and making one connection keeps you at an advantage of knowing five others. The numbers increase quickly with each connection you make. For engineers, networking is very important at any stage of their career. Student organization meetings are one of the best places to practice networking, as most of them are informal. The long-term advantages of being part of different groups are not only finding you a partner for your hobbies but also helping you diversify your career options. Sometimes discussing your technical problems to a person alien to your field can give a fresh perspective. Remember Sherlock Holmes and his sudden burst of ideas by listening to random conversations?
But first, how do you pick the right organization? Well, don’t. Whether the organization has dues or not, they always have free introductory meetings. If your goal is to make connections with people you can reach out to when you need some help, those first meetings are good enough to know if the group interests you. At the beginning of the semester, when life isn’t too busy, make sure to attend these. Your connections in these organizations can also be a ray of light at the end of the tunnel during a mid-semester crisis. It is a must to talk about problems and get them out of mind to excel in your education and career. Friends, family or campus resources like CAPS are good support groups for getting rid of stress and staying on the right path.
Now you know when and why to attend these events and make connections. But concern about commitment is what stops many from being active in these groups. Every person has a creative outlet, especially engineers. They deal with problem solving all the time, which is impossible without a creative mindset. When you attend, for instance, 10 events, you subconsciously pick your top choices based on your interests. One group will attract you more, be it because of the people in that organization, the activities they plan, etc. You can then choose to commit, or not, to that one organization and keep attending others as your schedule allows.
Being part of one of the biggest student bodies in the country is a great advantage. There is an organization for almost anything you can think of here at Texas A&M.
Activities, hobbies, religious, political, cultural, socials, service and more. It is easy to get lost in the daily hustle in engineering school, so it is essential to take a step back once in a while to do something creative, fun or both. The 1,000+ student organizations plan and organize the activities. All you have to do is show up and make some connections.
If you found this blog post interesting, you may consider reading “The Pursuit” and “Joining an Engineering Project Team.”