Student advice: What to remember when joining a club at K-State.

Photo by Jed Barker | The Collegian Liping Zheng, freshman in hospitality management and dietetics, spins the "wheel of fortune" at the McCain Ambassadors table at the Union Expo and Activities Carnival on August 29, 2013. The Student Union was packed with K-State students signing up for various clubs and organizations and snagging free candy along the way.

“Get involved; go to all the events that (clubs) have for you and meet people. Part of the experience is finding something you like to do and making the friends in there.”

– Briana Hall, sophomore in graphic design

“Join an organization that’s going to help you grow – not just in your profession or what you want to do, but also one which is going to help you develop your leadership skills and help you learn more about yourself.”

– Vuna Adams III, senior in marketing

“Don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone. Go out, experiment and see what you can handle. It never hurts to try.”

– Marquix Adamson, sophomore in chemical engineering

“Even if you think you know what your interests are, go ahead and explore a little bit. You can sometimes find people who are more like you than you think you would find.”

– Taylor Mann, junior in biology and anthropology

“Make sure (the club) aligns with your natural range of interests, so you can be engaged actively and gain better leadership skills.”

– Sean Kiernan, junior in art history and English literature

“Check out all that K-State has to offer. There might even be things that you haven’t thought about before, like the skydiving club.”

– Courtney Claxton, sophomore in communication sciences and disorders

“If you have the chance, look for something more than clubs, look at Greek life. You can’t consider them a club, but more a place you belong for the rest of your life.”

– Abdulrahman Alkhiary, senior in political science and economics

“Getting involved is the best way to get the most out of your time here. If you’re always in the dorm or apartment, you’re not going to be having fun. The best way is to just get out there and get involved. It even builds your resume for when you get out of school.”

– Daijah Porchia, sophomore in theater

“When (clubs) have social events and scholarship events, don’t be shy – go to all of them and get to know the members.”

– Ahram Kim, senior in accounting

“Investigate the organization you want to join. Talk to people, connect, socialize and make sure it fits you. Don’t just do it because your friends are doing it. Don’t do it if it’s not you.”

– Tyrone Williams, senior in social sciences

K-State has 385 registered organizations, ranging from a mock trial club to a skydiving club and each organization has a unique appeal, and approximately 200 of them are registered for today’s Union Expo & Activities Carnival.

Joining a club or an organization is beneficial to students, beyond just having something to do with their free time at K-State. It’s a way to gain real world experience and embrace the overall concept of “family” at K-State.

“It’s a good way for students to find out what they’re passionate about, what their interests are,” said Marcus Kidd, graduate assistant at the Office of Student Activities and Services in the K-State Student Union. “It’s also a good way to connect with other students who have the same passions.”

Ashley Douglass, senior administrative assistant at OSAS, said it’s important for students to remember is to keep an open mind about organizations and other activities when browsing ones to join.

When picking an organization, students should pick an organization that has opportunities for personal growth rather than one where they’re just another warm body.

“When we talk to students about getting involved, many times they have the perception that they should get involved in as many clubs as possible,” said Jared Meitler, campus engagement coordinator at the Career and Employment Services. “I would typically recommend that rather than do that, they find two or three or four clubs that they can become deeply involved and take up more responsibility over time. That’s what’s going to appeal to the recruiter.”

Choosing the right clubs can have a significant impact on life beyond college. They have the potential to make you feel passionate about things you might not have even heard about.

Meitler said having a healthy mix between organizations that are along the lines of your industry, as well things you’re passionate about, can help define students’ futures.

“If it wasn’t for the organizations I was involved with in my undergraduate years, I wouldn’t have decided to follow my passions and continue on in graduate school with student affairs,” Kidd said.