I’m Too Damn Busy: How to Get Involved on Campus

It’s that time of the year again - Wilkin’s Plaza (formerly known as North Plaza) is flooded with clubs and organizations feening for new members. As a freshman, the pressure to join the right organization on campus scared me.

“What if the club wasn’t for me in the end?”

“What if I don’t like the people?”

“What if it’s too much on my schedule?”

These questions lingered in my head for a while, which turned into a big mistake because by the time freshmen year was over, I was only involved in one organization (shout out to Her Campus George Mason) and I didn’t have a lot to show for it besides my published articles.

My big reason why: I THOUGHT I was too damn busy.

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Once sophomore year came around, I promised myself that I wouldn’t let the excuse of “being too busy” get in my way. I was determined to join at least three new clubs and prosper within them, which I actually did, but my life was hell for a while.

Here’s some advice I would give to anyone who is struggling with staying involved on campus, but is also just too damn busy.

Get a planner

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I cannot stress this enough. I actually have five active calendars which I use to plan my life: iCalendar, Outlook, the Student Involvement Academic Planner (which are still available in OSI), a dry erase calendar and an Erin Condren Academic Planner. I write down different things in different planners/calendars depending on what the event is. For example, my Erin Condren planner holds everything going in my life: exams, appointments, meetings, etc. While my Student Involvement Academic Planner holds all my homework assignments and everything pertaining to school. They are a great investment to get your life together.

Related: Back to School with Erin Condren

Do something out of the ordinary

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Now that you have your life all planned out, try looking for clubs that interest you. Maybe you like sports or dance. Mason offers 400+ organizations on campus tailored for any student interests or hobbies. Check out Get Connected to see where you may fit in. However, it’s wise to join a club that will take you out of your comfort zone. Last year, I joined Patriot Activities Council (PAC) which required a lot of public speaking. Being the introvert that I am, I immediately became extroverted by talking to students on campus about promotional events and actually helping out at the events.  

Don’t overwork yourself

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Sometimes it’s okay to tell an organization or club “no.” I had to do it plenty of times just so I could retain my sanity. If you know that an organization requires a lot from you and you can’t do it, talk to someone about it before you decide to just quit. In the end, the president or membership chair will be more than happy that you were open and transparent with them about your situation.

Class comes first

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In addition to telling a club or organization when things are just getting out of control, you need to remind yourself that you are on campus for one reason and that is to learn. Sometimes being on an e-board or being highly involved with an organization can get in the way of your academics. Make sure you are flexible, but not too flexible that your GPA starts going downhill.

Trust me, it’s going to be scary at first, but it’s all about finding balance. Go out and prosper, Collegiettes!