I remember attending orientation before starting college and getting completely overloaded with information on about a billion different student organizations. It seemed like there was an org for everything—fraternities, sororities, Save the Campus Ducks, Pizza Lovers United—you name it, they had it. There were so many orgs that I got lost in the list, and ultimately, it took me until my senior year to actually join anything.

Don’t make the same mistake! Student organizations are perfect places to meet new friends, network, and involve yourself in a cause or activity that you’re really passionate about. They’re also really great CV lines, especially if you eventually hold any kind of technical position in the group, like president or treasurer.

So, here are five organizations that many schools have that I think are worth checking out. They might exist in various forms on different campuses, depending on what they have named themselves. But, should one of these not exist on your campus, here’s your chance to start an org of your own!

Studentorgs

Undergraduate Literary Journal
Most schools have some sort of undergraduate literary journal, usually housed within the English department. My undergraduate lit journal is called thread literary inquiry, and it has been a blast to work as a graduate advisor to the undergraduate staff. Your duties in an org like this could range from editing to graphic design. If you have any interest in the world of publishing, this would be a great place to get your foot in the door.

Campus Newspaper
In that same vein, the campus newspaper is a great place for mass comm, journalism, English, and graphic design majors alike to find some experience as an undergraduate. There are a ton of ways to be involved with your campus newspaper, even if you aren’t a writer. Take photographs, conduct interviews, design and format the paper—the possibilities are really endless.

Volunteering/Public Service
Every campus probably has some kind of org that caters to giving back to the community surrounding your college or university. Some of these orgs might have some kind of religious tie-in, but regardless of your religious affiliations, you can still join up and pitch in. I’m not particularly religious, and as an undergrad, I took a service trip over spring break to serve the homeless in downtown Atlanta. It was a tough but super rewarding trip, so if you think you might enjoy some volunteer work, there are likely at handful of orgs that can help you do that.

Studentorgs2

Student Government
Especially in large universities, it’s easy for students to feel like just a number in a sea of other people. With tuition hiking every year, financial assistance becoming more scarce, and more and more students entering universities each fall, one way to make sure your voice is heard is by joining your student government. Student governments actually help enact a lot of positive changes on university campuses across the country. If you’re at all inclined towards a leadership role, try running for a position within your major college, and work your way up!

To Write Love On Her Arms UChapters
TWLOHA was born in the early 2000s as a means of spreading awareness and getting help for those struggling with depression, anxiety, suicide, addiction, and self-injury. According to the UChapter website, “Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students, and it is estimated that more than 1,100 college students die by suicide each year. Our hope is that the presence of a UChapter on college and university campuses can help turn the tide in these statistics. UChapter members will work to tackle the stigma of mental health and connect students to the local resources they need.” So, if your school doesn’t have a UChapter, take it upon yourself to start one up—it’s a great cause.

 

There are countless orgs on every college campus, and even though finding one to join can sometimes seem like a daunting task, hopefully these five might give you a place to start looking!