Coming back to school from a summer off can be profoundly souring, it may feel as though a student will be taking tests and writing essays for the rest of their life. One of the most significant mistakes I’ve found that a student can make is to overly involve themselves in grades and academia while neglecting the other aspects of college life. Now, for my sake, please do not mistake this as me telling you not to try and do well in classes. However, just like everything in life,
there must be a balance. There are many ways to create this balance, but a personal favorite of mine is the social benefits of clubs and groups available through the university. One of the best places to find these organizations is at CU Boulder‘s annual Be Involved Fair, which was held this year on August 29th, and features dozens of stands where a student can go and discuss clubs with actual members.
I neglected to go to this event when I was entering my first year at CU Boulder. I was already incredibly busy within the early days of going to classes, and I figured I wouldn’t have the time to join any groups; I consider this to be a mistake, as meeting people was more difficult without participating in organizations and clubs. Going to the fair would have also made finding groups much more manageable, as opposed to looking them up after the fact, as I did. So, this year, as a testament to trying something new and looking for a way to become more deeply involved in the university lifestyle, I finally went to the Be Involved Fair.
CU Boulder boasts hundreds of clubs and groups. Some of them are large with many members, while others are small and intimate with only a handful of people participating. Some groups are focused around community service, while others are far more socially orientated. Some clubs are meant to advance a student in the field they intend on joining post-graduation, others are designed to be participated in for fun and recreation. There are organizations for everyone, though sifting through these hundreds of clubs may seem daunting. Going to the Be Involved Fair saved me some of
the time it would have taken to examine each of these clubs on their own online.
The Be Involved Fair was an impressive visual on its own, and much easier to navigate than the clubs and organizations website available through CU Boulder. While walking around the event, I heard snippets of fascinating and informative conversations. What stuck out to me about the pieces of things that I heard was the enthusiasm with which they were being discussed. The students in these clubs were proud to share their passions and interests, whatever these may be. Many have accused the young people of my generation of being lazy and without the ‘inner fire’ that they and their parents possessed. My response to this would be to advise them to visit the Be Involved Fair. These organizations and clubs exist almost exclusively because my peers wish for them to exist. That hard work is what makes these clubs so unique.
The Be Involved Fair taught me that I have a genuine desire to become interwoven into the fabric of college life, and it honestly made me appreciate how inviting my fellow students are. The event also made me realize that the clubs at CU Boulder have something to offer everyone. For new students coming to CU this fall, it can feel nerve-racking to be in an entirely new place; but the organizations at the university make the transition so much more comfortable and far less lonely. For a student like me, who has been attending the college for a while already, I would suggest a reexamination of some of the organizations at CU Boulder which may have been overlooked when you first arrived.
Use this early portion of the semester to experiment. This period is perfect for expanding your interests or deepening those you already have. Joining clubs can allow a student to have hobbies, get experience in specific fields, meet new people, and perhaps make friends in an unfamiliar environment. There are clubs meant for bettering the world around
you, and there are clubs for elevating oneself. No matter the reason for finding a group or groups, there is something to suit everyone. CU Boulder can seem disorientating because of the campus’ size, but that also means that the university is wonderfully diverse.
The Be Involved Fair allowed me to remember how welcoming my fellow peers are. Of course, I can hardly say this for every single one of them, but as a whole, they are incredibly inviting. Even for those of my peers who are like me and find the very idea of going out stressful and unappealing, the organizations offered at CU Boulder allow for every layer of involvement. A student could join a small club of fewer than fifteen people who meet once per month, or they can join a group with dozens of members who get together every week. What I’ve also come to accept is that not every club is going to be a good fit. Something might sound fabulous, though upon arriving may lose that initial appeal. Try not to be overly discouraged by this; there are still multitudes of other clubs to try.
As a parting note to any fellow students who may be reading this, clubs and organizations can offer a way to become immersed in the college life and atmosphere. For the most part, the students of CU Boulder want to be inclusive. They want to create a sense of community and belonging. College isn’t the same as high school; the social stress does not exist in such rigorous severity. Going to university should be, at least partly, an exciting time; though I do not pretend that balancing the various aspects of college life is not difficult. I am still working on not being so swept up in the academia of college that I forget to enjoy the other, particularly social, portions of it.