What are you looking for in a society? I had no idea how to answer that question my freshman year. I didn’t even know what a society was. Everyone I asked said the same thing: It’s a group of people that you choose to be stuck with for four years. Ok, but what does that mean?
During Rush I was stressed out of my mind searching for the perfect society I would sign my life away to. I went to Every. Single. Booth trying to decide. It was at the very last booth that I met Katie Roukes, a senior nursing major with a kind smile and an even kinder heart. She wasn’t just willing to be my society sister—she was willing to be my friend and help me find a place to belong at BJU.
Since joining the Tau Delta Chi Kangaroos, I’ve been a member and I’ve been an officer, most recently president. Society has become the single most important aspect of my college career. I’ve learned that it’s more than just being stuck with people for four years. It’s learning from relationships and building lifelong friends.
Choosing a Society
Societies are all about building relationships, so choose one with people you would want to be your friends.
Ask older students on your hall, in your classes and around campus.
They can give you an idea as to which societies to look at based on your personal interests. Each society tends to attract a certain type of person. For example, Lanier is known as the “islander society” (most of the members hail from island states or countries), and the Classics are known as the sporty society. Ask about what kind of people join the one you are interested in and see if you fit.
Choose a society with people you want to be like.
With 35 different societies on campus, it can be hard to narrow down the choices. The first time I talked to the girls in the Kangaroos at Rush I knew that I wanted to be like them. The people with whom you surround yourself reflect the person you will become.
Go to as many events before Rush as possible.
You’ll have over two weeks from the time you arrive until you have to choose. Use that time to get to know different societies—think of it like speed-dating. Give different societies a chance because the one you want might not be the first one you meet.
Being in a Society
You can choose two paths in society: sit in the back or participate.
Go to a couple of the events planned each semester.
The more you go to, the more you’ll enjoy it because you will get to know people and build relationships.
Offer to help with an event.
If you put time into something, you will cherish it more. You will build deeper relationships with the leaders of your society through helping them. And they, in turn, will understand better how to lead.
Leading a Society
A good leader is easy to spot because usually they are offering to do whatever they can to help. Leadership boils down to service.
It’s not about you.
Leadership is about the people around you and how you can serve them. A good leader will start by offering to help with the small and even random things. Eventually, the trust that is built between you and the leadership will lead to greater amounts of responsibility. The service never ends. It just changes forms.
Change is your friend.
As a leader, you cannot be afraid of the changes that come each semester. The differences keep a society from becoming stagnant. Let the change happen—but steer it in the right direction.
Prayer is everything.
No matter what is happening, prayer has to be a priority as a leader. Whether you are planning an event, giving a devotional, playing in a soccer game or cleaning the warehouse, pray about it. Your society is built on human relationships, and that means things will go wrong. Give the problem and outcome to God.
Society is what you make it. It can be 35 minutes every Friday. Or it can offer you the deepest relationships, the best memories and the greatest leadership opportunities in your college career. The choice is yours. Make it carefully and make it intentionally.