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My (slightly overkill) Process to Finding the Perfect TAMU Orgs

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at TAMU chapter.

The beginning of the school year can be rough. With classes in full swing, it can be easy to forget about all that college life has to offer. Friends, independence, and of course, orgs. Here are some of the steps I took to find the perfect orgs for me.

1. Evaluated both personal and professional interests

Coming into my junior year, I knew I wanted to find two orgs: one that focused on my major and one that was for fun. As a business major, I had my eye out for a professional development opportunity but I didn’t want to enroll in something too time-consuming or uninteresting. Rather, I wanted to make an impact in Mays and actually connect with my peers. As for my fun org, I had to think a little bit harder. What was I interested in? What could I see myself passionately committing to? I decided to take it back to the basics: my childhood. I always loved to write stories as a kid, and even took creative writing electives in high school. Writing has always been my safe haven and something that I could see myself committing to and enjoying, even with a busy schedule.

2. Conducted Research

Now that I knew what I was looking for, it was time to do some searching. The first place I started was MaroonLink, A&M’s database of all approved on-campus organizations. Using the filters to sort, I was able to narrow down my search to the top 10 organizations that looked the most interesting. For each of these options, I visited the social media pages to get a general overview of the culture as well as any red flags. Here’s a general checklist of what I looked for when reviewing social media:

What I Look For What It Tells Me
Post interaction (comments, likes, etc.) How engaged and passionate members are
General aesthetic of the page The vibe the org gives off
Frequency of posting How engaged the org is with its followers
Responses to comments and DM’s How good the org is at communication
Mission statement/core values What does the org believe in?
Does it keep to these beliefs?

Aside from MaroonLink and social media, I paid extra attention to what was happening around campus. One of the best ways I did this was to interact with people tabling and bannering. Getting to meet members of an org firsthand gave me insight into actual members’ experiences. It also allowed me to ask questions and clarify any unknowns. After all, stalking social media can only do so much. There’s no substitute for actually meeting the members and feeling out the vibes. After this process, my 10 options were whittled down to 4, and I knew it was time for the final step.

4. Attended informationals

After lots of research, I had a pretty clear picture of my final 4 options. They sparked my interest, passed the vibe check, and now it all came down to one last thing: practicality. In order to find out the nitty-gritty of meeting requirements, dues, and scheduling, I had to go to informationals. This step was arguably the most crucial. If an org simply didn’t fit my schedule, it had to be ruled out, even if it was perfect in every other aspect. Here are some of the things I made note of during informationals:

How often Are meetings?

Weekly? Monthly? This category also includes how often meetings occur within a timeframe. Ex. twice a week, bimonthly, etc.

How much of a time commitment is it?

This includes not just time devoted to meetings, but all other requirements such as social activities, committee meetings, volunteer events, etc. While this might vary within an org, it was important for me to have flexibility with time commitment.

Are the requirements worth it?

An org can check all the boxes but maybe the requirements for actually maintaining membership take away all the fun. Alternatively, the requirements might simply be too demanding for my schedule. Other factors I considered were the logistics of meeting requirements. Was there a lot of off-campus travel? Do the requirements require spending money? Little things like these can make a big impact.

How much are dues?

While many orgs require dues to function, some involve much more depending on the type of org. Big leadership orgs such as FLOs and SLOs may require dues in the hundreds. For sororities and fraternities, it can be in the thousands. Dues serve an important purpose, but as a college student on a budget, this was a big concern for me.

Is all of this really necessary?

This process certainly isn’t for everyone. It’s time-consuming and still isn’t guaranteed to result in a good experience with an org. But I can confidently say that I’m glad I took the time to find the perfect fit for me. In the end, the 2 orgs I committed to have given me some of the best memories I could ask for. Happy searching!

Katie is a junior accounting major and second year a staff writer for HerCampus at TAMU. She mainly writes about cultural discourse, local events on campus or in the Bryan-College Station area, and her personal experiences. Beyond HerCampus, Katie served for two years as a peer mentor for the Freshman Business Initiative, helping freshmen through career training activities such as resume workshops and mock interviews. She was also a member of the social committee for Freshman Aggie Ladies Leading where she helped plan social events. This summer, she's excited to start her first internship in audit at a CPA firm in Dallas. After graduating with her Bachelor's in accounting, she hopes to pursue an MBA. In her free time, Katie enjoys listening to pop music, reading, watching movies, and playing Animal Crossing. She is obsessed with smush-faced dogs (especially bulldogs and pugs), the color pink, and collecting Funko Pop dolls. Katie can be spotted at Velvet Taco, Chipotle, or at various thrift shops around College Station.