At first glance, choosing a society is an ordeal. College is already new, and now you have only two confusing, hectic weeks to pick the society for you. On top of that, there is some event called a “rush party.” Picture this:
You’re standing in the middle of a circus ring, surrounded by tents of every society. Among a hodgepodge of colors, dragons and tigers and kangaroos buzz through the crowd with their equally hyped owners. Food is at every station. Meats sizzle. Drums bang. Music plays. As you stand in the middle of the hubbub, students line bleachers next to you, adding to the din with chants and cheers. And there goes Alan Benson flying through the air on a couch.
Now, do you believe me that choosing a society is hectic?
But there is hope. Although you might feel rushed into making a decision, there are methods to overcome the madness.
The Process of Choosing a Society
- Eliminate societies you know are not right for you. Even if you still have trouble choosing a society afterward, at least you won’t join one that is definitely not for you.
- Look for a society that emphasizes what you click with. Areas to consider include reputation, tradition, athletics, fun and service. BJU has put together a list of related questions you can ask students.
- Ask society officers and members about other societies. What do they think of certain societies? Which societies would they recommend or avoid, and why?
- Consider who is joining with you. Although upperclassmen represent a society, take note of sophomores and especially freshmen. You’ll be in society with them the longest, so you will grow closer to them and shape the society with them. If you can, join with a good friend so that you can make the most of society together for the next four years.
- Don’t rely on purpose statements when choosing a society. Each society has one, but they don’t usually define a society.
- Check out society Instagram or Facebook pages to get a glimpse of what each society does. (Some accounts represent a society more accurately than others. Pay attention to dates, etc.)
Perspective as a Society Member
You get out of society what you put into it. Even if you pick one that fits you, you have to do your part to enjoy it. Build friendships, go on outings and run for office. However, society is not everyone’s way of getting involved at college. If you prefer to find one or two good friends in society, do that instead. But go into society with an open mind—it just might be your thing.
Incoming classes over the years could change your society’s vibes. Even if you picked the best society, change still happens. By the time you are a senior, don’t be surprised if your society is a little different than you first knew it.
Society is one of the many resources available to enhance your college experience. Choose one wisely and take advantage of its opportunities.
See Also: Make the Most of Your Society Experience
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