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Happy spring semester! Today marks USC’s second day of our virtual student organization involvement fair, and as a second semester senior, I’ve been thinking a lot about how I’ve spent my time at USC. Student organizations play a huge part in how students interact with each other in college, and how engineering students can smartly fill their free time with well rounded, significant activities.

In high school, I was involved in nine or ten organizations by the time I graduated, all with varying degrees of involvement. These clubs were all important to me, and through active involvement in some and passive involvement in others, I was able to grow in different parts of my life. 

This is very, very different from the way college student organizations are set up. To be active in a student organization in college, a lot more is required of you. Often, weekly or biweekly meetings, frequent events, and sometimes even competitions, conferences, or larger activities play a huge role in a student organization’s requirements. Because of this, I’ve only been actively involved in two or three student organizations at a time.

On top of this, student organizations themselves are often very versatile and dynamic in nature. For example, the Society of Women Engineers is an organization at USC that promotes the development of women in engineering. While this seems straightforward enough, the organization achieves this by putting on professional, social, and community service focused events, alongside general meetings. Through one student organization, you can experience a wide variety of activities and learn a great deal of skills. (Here’s my sorority volunteering through USC at a food bank!)

Finally, student organizations are run by students in college, which means that they are led by students. From freshman year to senior year, student organizations rely on the development of students into leaders that can direct the group after the seniors have graduated. There are tons of leadership opportunities within organizations, but you can only take advantage of them if you’re willing to put the time and effort required into it.

With all this said, student organizations are very different in college than they are in high school, but because of this, they are more meaningful to a student’s experiences. My student organizations have had a huge impact on my time at USC, and I can’t wait to come back as an alumni and help support them once I graduate. Fight on!

Christina Najm