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Getting Involved on Campus as A Commuter

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 USFSP chapter.

If you’re a commuter student, you know the struggle of time management. It can be a hassle to pick classes on the same day, so you don’t have to go to campus every day. The constant thought of accounting for the drive back home (for me it’s 30 minutes) is a lot already. In addition to this, it can be hard to make friends and feel at home when you don’t live on campus. For me, getting involved in various clubs did the trick to find likeminded people who make USF a home away from home, and I wanted to share my experiences.  

Girls Bible Study 

The first club I ever joined on campus was my girls Bible study. In this club a group of girls (along with myself) lead discussions on various chapters of scripture each week. Once I stepped into that room, I knew it was the right decision. For the first time, campus felt like home. Mainly because I had finally found a ministry opportunity on campus. Previously, there were not many options on campus for something like this study, which is why I am so grateful to be a part of it because my faith is a huge part of my identity. This club also brought me some of my closest friends. I now feel comfortable opening up about different things, and it has created a strong, long-lasting bond that I will cherish forever.  

Her Campus 

Another club that I am heavily involved in is Her Campus. From the beginning of this semester, I have taken on being on the social media team, writing team, and have volunteered for big club events. As a member of the social media team, every week I create one reel along with the weekly article roundup showcasing the articles published that week. Through this team, I can immerse myself in the social media world a little more and use my creativity to make unique and interesting posts for our chapter! Additionally, I am an active writer for the chapter – writing a new article about every two weeks. This aspect of the club has allowed me to do something outside of my comfort zone and build connections with other writers with similar interests. In Her Campus, I get the opportunity to volunteer and help put on different campus events. For our most recent event (our spring tea party) I was tasked with serving the cookies and tea. I was working alongside another member where I had the joy of talking about our similar interest in music for a while, which made me smile. I also devote my time to attending the Her Campus book club where we read a different book each month and then gather near the end of the month to discuss it. This is just another outlet to express my interests and love of books.  

The main reason I love this club is simply because of the people and connections I have made. Being a part of many different aspects of HC allows me to meet new people and create lasting bonds. For example, because I see the writer team so frequently, we always find something to talk about, learning more about each other. It is like a little family. Every time I come to general body meetings, I am never awkward and can always start a conversation with someone, whether I know them or not. When I am walking around campus, I am always met with a friendly face that brings me joy. Her Campus has opened many different opportunities for me, and I am thankful for it. This club will always have a special place in my heart. 

Taylor Swift Society  

The final major club that I am involved in is the Taylor Swift Society, which I am one of the executives of. This club is centered around our infectious love of Taylor Allison Swift. We host events such as trivia, karaoke, and album release parties. As an executive, I help the President with various tasks to prepare, plan, and put on these big events. This includes coming up with ideas or creating posters and social media posts for event announcements. Although I commute to campus, I prioritized this club because it brought me so much joy as I was able to help plan fun events and create a fun Swiftie community.  I met some of my closest friends through the process. Now, we hangout outside of club events and have grown closer since then. 

You might be wondering; how do I make time for all of this? Sometimes, to be honest, I don’t know. But the thing that helped me the most was consistency and using my time on campus wisely. When I am on campus, I try to make the most of it. For example, because I have classes on Mondays and Wednesdays, I tend to pack my schedule. I go to school for my 3:30pm class then go to Her Campus meetings right after. This is also part of the reason why I wanted to be on the social media team because general body meetings meet on Mondays which is a day I am already there. The marketing team meets on Mondays as well, but they meet at 4:30pm which falls during my class, making it hard for me to prioritize. I found that consistency in attending meetings and events was the key to making connections. This past fall semester I was very consistent in coming to events for the Taylor Swift Society, and fast forward to now, I am an executive of the club and have some of my closest friends.  

Finding clubs that are the perfect fit for you can be difficult. For me, personally, I’d say that this was the hardest part. The place I started looking for clubs to join was at the Get on Board Day, specifically at the beginning of spring semester. This is where most clubs on campus gather to table and give information about themselves to potential new members. This gave me the opportunity to learn about what USF St. Petersburg had to offer. This is where I found Her Campus and how I started getting involved. I could talk to club members and gain insight into what the club does and their mission. In this process, I asked many questions about how the club runs, which made me comfortable jumping into the club meetings with familiar faces around.  

Getting involved as a commuter student, although it was hard in the beginning, now brings me so much joy and comfort being at USFSP. Finding these different outlets has opened so many doors for me such as making new friends and building community with other students on campus. Involvement on campus and making connections is so important to me because it helps me to grow as a person and pursue things I love, such as writing articles and Taylor Swift. Campus now feels like home away from home (literally) and I have found a new sense of comfort on campus. All from getting involved in various clubs. 

Hi!! My name is Evelyn Kelley and I am a writer for the USFSP HC chapter. I have a great interest in writing and love to write about the world around me. I also love social media and interacting with others online. I am a Sophomore majoring in Psychology with a double minor in Criminology and Children's Behavioral Healthcare. In the future I plan to become a clinical psychologist for children and teens. I also hope to study abroad during my time at USF! Outside of USF and HC I love to thrift, spend time with my friends, and try new coffee shops! I also am a huge Swiftie and you can always find me at the beach :)