The only way you’re going to survive college, especially if you left home, is by making friends. A support system is vital to having a great college experience. Your family, as wonderful as they may be, sometimes isn’t enough when you’re miles away from home.
Besides meeting people in class, the key to making friends is getting involved. In a school as large and diverse as UF, it’s easy to find your niche. You can join your dorm’s area council, a sorority or fraternity, or a club that specializes in something you are really interested in, such as chess or scuba diving.
Joining an organization is easier than you may think. If it’s rushing a fraternity or sorority, the dates will be posted online or all around campus to give you a heads up. If you’re not into the traditional Greek scene, you can join a multicultural or service-based fraternity or sorority. There are even religious or majors-based fraternities, such as Alpha Kappa Psi (a co-ed business fraternity) and Theta Tau (a co-ed engineering fraternity). These organizations usually have tables set up on Turlington or post all over Facebook to let everyone know when their rush is.
One minor drawback to this type of involvement is that fraternities and sororities, Greek or not, require a huge time commitment during your first semester of involvement. If you don’t think you have the time or energy to deal with all that is required of you that first semester, then you may want to try joining a club that’s more lenient and less demanding of your time.
If you’re really passionate about UF, apply to be a Cicerone or a Campus Diplomat. These organizations give tours and put on events, respectively, for UF’s present and prospective students. A lot of people apply to these popular organizations, but don’t let that keep you from filling out the application and going to an interview!
To gain experience and learn more about your future career, try joining a club that’s specific to your major. Whether it’s the Public Relations Student Society of America or the Agricultural Economics Club, organizations like these look great on your resume and put you in contact with advisers who can prepare you for life once you graduate college. But besides the future aspect of it, these clubs are filled with students who are taking or have taken the same classes as you, which can be helpful if you’re struggling in one of them.
Beyond the fraternities, UF-related, and major-specific organizations, there are clubs centered on various hobbies. Whether it’s skydiving or Irish dancing, it’s a guarantee that there’s a club for you at UF. After all, there are more than 900 of them! All you have to do is check out ufl.collegiatelink.net/Organizations, and keep an eye out for organizations tabling around campus! The possibilities are endless if you allow yourself to open up, jump out of your comfort zone, and get involved.