Clubs And Organizations

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One of the most important aspects of college life is getting involved in clubs and organizations around campus. College isn’t just about what you do in the classroom, and getting involved in extracurriculars can help you connect with those around you, while providing you with important experiences to put on your resume.

Here are several types of clubs and organizations commonly found on college campuses:

Fraternities and sororities

Fraternities and sororities are social organizations, and are also known as “Greek letter organizations” as they’re often named using Greek letters. Most fraternities and sororities are national organizations, with individual chapters on different campuses—giving you a potential alumni network with people across the country.

To become a member of a fraternity or sorority, you will need to go through the two-part process called rushing and pledging. During rush you need to attend many social events in order to get to know the fraternity and sorority members.

After this period, you’ll be offered “bids” to fraternities or sororities that are interested in you, at which point you can choose to move forward with the pledge process—a period of time where new members become integrated into the organization.

These organizations can be amazing ways to connect with a built-in social community during your time in college. However, remember that joining fraternities and sororities is a challenging and competitive process. You have to commit a lot of time during the rush period, and really must make an effort to bond with members of the organization you wish to join. If you want to join a fraternity or sorority, you should make sure you join the organization that really fits your personality and characteristics.

Professional Organizations

Unlike fraternities and sororities, which emphasize a more social commitment, professional organizations are more career-related.

These organizations help you further develop your professional skills to succeed in the real world. Professional organizations provide you useful resources, including the opportunity to meet people who have similar career goals. Once you decide on a major or career path you’re passionate about, the resources you’ll find in a professional organization will be a great compliment to the knowledge you’ll gain in the classroom.

Plus, by immersing you in the subject matter and preparing you for the future, these organizations will help you decide whether the career path or major you’ve chosen is really right for you.

Nonprofit/Volunteering Organizations

It’s also important to do volunteer activities and give back to the community you live in. If you’re looking for different kinds of experiences that will benefit others, nonprofit organizations are a great fit for you.

Many colleges have organizations related to civic engagement and leadership, which emphasize building better communities near your university. Other nonprofit organizations might focus on environmental conservation, or helping peers in college through tutoring or support services.

No matter the focus, volunteering will help connect you to your college campus, your surrounding community, and with causes that have real-world impact. Plus, they’ll give you great, socially conscious experiences to take with you into the professional world.

Interest-based Organizations

You can also choose organizations based on your hobbies and interests—including music, dancing, sports, calligraphy, and more.

Getting involved with these organizations helps you gain experiences that can show a different side of yourself, and can help you meet a community of like-minded hobbyists that share your passion. Even if it’s a hobby you just discovered and are still not very good at, you can still join the organization. It’s more about doing things you love!

Create an Organization Yourself

After scanning the list of organizations in your college, you might not find an organization that feels like a good fit for you. If you have a different idea that hasn’t been listed, why not create an organization yourself?

There are probably a handful of students on campus who share your passion and are looking for a group to join—plus creating a club or organization shows initiative and will give you great leadership experience. You can always find information about registering an organization on your university’s website, or talk to the student activities department about how to get started.

Be warned: starting a new organization is just like starting a new company, so you’ll have to go through a long, complicated process to get it up and running. Before you start, create a thorough plan and make sure you have the time and energy to make the organization successful.


While these are all common organizations you’ll find on most college campuses, every school has a unique set of clubs and groups to join. Before you arrive, make sure to look up student activity lists on your university websites, and check out activity fairs towards the beginning of each semester to find the organization that speaks to you!

Featured image by Kimson Doan courtesy of Unsplash.

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Shirley Du

Shirley is a graduate student at Indiana University Kelley School of Business. She has been in the United States for three years, and comes from a city near Beijing. Her interests include traveling and doing volunteer works.

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