One of the best things about attending such a large university like UF is the various clubs and organizations offered to students. When I got to UF in 2018, I first joined the Black Student Union. By joining BSU I was able to create lifelong friendships, network, and improve my planning and speaking skills. I am a firm believer that I would not be the person I am today if not for these experiences. However, joining clubs can be overwhelming. Below are some tips I feel will make navigating campus involvement easier.  

The Involvement Guide: 

Do not overextend yourself. 

Sometimes you become involved in so many things that it causes you to lose focus on why you are really here: school. However, with the proper balance, you can still be involved and excel academically. When choosing clubs to be a part of ask yourself why you want to do this and if is this something you are passionate about. If you answer no to either of those questions, then it is not the organization for you. 

One for you and one for your career  

When I was a freshman, I attended an involvement panel, and something one of the panelists said stuck with me and I have used it since. “One for you and one for your career. This means when choosing organizations or things to do on campus ensure you are setting yourself up professionally and joining clubs that affirm your core values. For example, at one point I was a pre-vet student, so I joined the Minority Pre-Vet club. The club was able to connect me to multiple resources and even helped me secure my first internship. Along with this, I was involved in Gator Comics so I could fulfill my nerdy side.

You get out what you put in  

Joining any organization will require some type of work, whether that be attending general body meetings, events, volunteering, fundraising, etc. To truly get the most out of any club you join, you must put in the effort. If you do not, you will find yourself not feeling fulfilled.  

Find clubs/organizations  

During the beginning of each semester, there are various tabling events at UF to inform students of clubs, organizations, and opportunities that are at their disposal. But these events can be hard to attend due to class time, so a great resource for all UF students is Gator Connect. Gator Connect is the club database for all UF organizations. It allows you to search for clubs and provides contact information for the executive board so you can get involved.  

Getting involved on campus is a great way to network, improve your professional skills, and set you apart from candidates when applying for internships and jobs. It can be a bit intimidating at first but hopefully, this guide makes the process easier.