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How to get involved at UCR, from a fourth-year who is involved in everything

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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 UC Riverside chapter.

After four years at UCR, it’s safe to say that I’ve done my fair share of getting involved on campus. In my time on campus, I’ve been on the editorial board of four campus publications; a member of the Honors department (where I conducted two years of research); part of three honors and scholarship societies; served as social media chair for two clubs; interned in the nation’s capital via UCDC; volunteered for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Inland Empire; and am a casual member of the English Majors Association. That’s not even the entire list of things that I’ve been involved in on campus in addition to being a double major. I’m not frontloading this article with all my achievements to brag about everything I’ve done, but rather to show that it is incredibly possible to get involved in just about anything on campus and still manage your classwork, and you can do this at any point in your college career. Here are my tips for getting involved on campus — hopefully, these will be helpful regardless of if you are a first year, a new transfer student, or someone in between who wants to get involved!

Check out HighlanderLink or the UCR Subreddit

Yes, HighlanderLink is not the most useful place in the world to look for clubs, but it can be a good starting point. Many clubs try to keep their HighlanderLink profiles active so you know how to contact them and find out their meeting times. The UCR Subreddit is also a great spot to find new clubs — in this way, I was able to get involved in the Music Enthusiasts Society when it was still new. If you’re interested in starting up your own club, the UCR Subreddit can be a great place to let people know who you are and what you’re about!

Wednesday Tabling

If you really want to know what clubs are active (HighlanderLink, again, isn’t always the best at this), many clubs come out on Wednesdays to table for their clubs. It’s a great chance to meet the officers or regular members of a club and learn how to get involved. 

Chi Omega Sorority Girls
Cassie Howard / Her Campus

Get in-the-know of the big organizations on campus

Although there are so many amazing small clubs on campus, knowing the bigger ones that are also aligned with your interests and career goals is very valuable. If you’re interested in editing or writing, there’s the school newspaper, Her Campus (obviously!), and Mosaic Art and Literary Magazine — for all of these, you can apply to be on the editorial board or simply be a writer/submitter! If you’re interested in politics, something like Model United Nations (MUN) or Associated Students of UCR (ASUCR) might be more your speed. If you’re a social butterfly, dip your feet into Greek life. And that’s not even digging into all the professional organizations that might exist within your own unique major. Ask around your department for any organizations you can partake in that might be of interest to you.

Get involved in research

You’re going to a research university and you’re surrounded by research faculty, grad students, and undergrad students — get involved in a lab or start your own project! If you’d like to know more about how to get into research on campus, you can check out my tips on the subject here!

Volunteer or get a local job

Getting involved on campus doesn’t entirely mean only working on campus. UCR has a list of community service resources that you can access if you want to get involved. There are also many local organizations you can get involved with, such as the aforementioned College Bigs program run by Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Inland Empire. There is also a list of local organizations you can volunteer for in Riverside County, if you want to expand even further.

Schedule it all out

When you have so many things you want to get involved in, the second most important thing you can do is then schedule everything out in your calendar! I prefer to use Google Calendar and Tweek to keep track of my daily schedule, commitments and assignments, and Notion to keep track of all my classwork. When you get a good idea of what free time you have outside of your classes and homework, it becomes easy to slot club meetings and volunteering and work into your schedule. 

Involvement on campus is what makes the experience so great. It connects you with likeminded people, new friends, and new opportunities (and looks great on a resume to boot!), and ultimately enriches you to be the most well-rounded person you can be once you graduate. I don’t regret the time I’ve spent as a member of all the campus organizations I’ve been part of. No matter where you are in your college journey, if you’re interested in getting more involved, I promise you it is so worth it.

Evelyn Homan

UC Riverside '24

Hiya! I'm Evelyn, and I'm a fourth-year English & Creative Writing double major, as well as an Honors student researching independent studying in the 21st century. I love literature, midwest emo and goth rock, alternative fashion, and talking. A lot.