Hi! My name is Patty and I am a 3/4 Engineering Management student at Stevens Institute of Technology, and I am excited to welcome the new class of 2022 to the flock this summer as a Peer Leader. I am from Brielle, New Jersey a small beach town in CENTRAL Jersey (yes it is a thing). I attended Manasquan High School where I was super involved in all sorts of clubs, honor societies, sports, and leadership activities, and stepping foot on Stevens campus three years ago (wow getting old), I knew I wanted to transfer that involvement to Stevens campus. On campus I am heavily involved in and finance director of StevensTHON, and a member of student faculty alliance, society of women engineers, and Phi Sigma Sigma sorority. One of the best things I have learned about Stevens over the years is how easy it is to get involved in different clubs an organizations. Therefore, I am going to share with you the four steps I found were a surefire way to get involved at Stevens and the benefits this involvement provides.
The first step to getting involved is simply putting yourself out there. During orientation week, there will be a Flock Party in which many student organizations host information tables. This is the best place to learn about all the different clubs and organizations the school has to offer. Here you have the chance to sign up for the email list for most of these organizations as well. Once on these lists, the clubs will email you with information whenever they have upcoming meetings or events. Not only will you leave with knowledge of all the exciting opportunities our campus has to get involved, but you may also walk away with some giveaways that many of the clubs hand out!
The next step is to follow your interests from the past, but also have an open mind. When I say there is club for everyone on campus, I mean EVERYONE. From honor societies, to knitting, to dancing, to anime, almost every interest you possibly could have there is a club for. Do not get me wrong, the plethora of options is definitely a good thing, but it can get overwhelming. My advice on this is to join both clubs that suit your past interests, but also don’t be afraid to try something new. College is all about finding yourself and stepping out of your comfort zone and trying new things is definitely a way to do this. You never will know if you like something or not if you don’t try it. Freshman year trying out these different organizations is the perfect way to do this. You do not need to stick with all fifty clubs you sign up for at the Flock Party either, give a couple a shot, see what you like best, and make the commitment to stick to a few. With this, make sure you allot time in your schedule to make the designated meeting times of these clubs. You are soon to learn that one of the most important aspects of freshman year is figuring out a time management routine that suits you. I personally was all about my agenda and scheduling everything. Do not sweat it if you have a huge test the next day and cannot make a club meeting, but try to your best to make it to as many meetings as possible for the few clubs you do decide to commit to.
Another factor that I cannot stress enough is to take advantage of the opportunities the organizations provide you with. I mean this in a few senses, from professional networking, to friendships built off common interests, to leadership opportunities, getting involved has a lot of positive aspects to offer. With regards to professional networking, there are organizations to represent many of the different majors offered at Stevens. These clubs host networking events where you have the opportunity to hear from people who pursued different career paths from your major. It is a great way to make contacts as well as start to decide what type of career you would like to pursue after graduation. Another positive evoked from involvement is friendships. Many of these organizations are driven by students with common interests, this makes it easier to strike up a conversation which could spark a new friendship or two. I met many people through campus involvement who are now in my inner circle. Lastly, I can not express enough how thankful I am for the leadership opportunities getting involved on campus has provided me with. From when I walked on to campus freshman year guided by a Peer Leader, to now being that Peer Leader for the second year helping to smooth the transition for this year’s incoming class, my leadership skills have completely transformed. I have gained a valuable leadership skills that I cannot wait to bring with me to the work world. My advice for you is to step up to the challenge if you feel up to it and run for a leadership position in a club you feel particularly passionate about.
The fourth and final step may sound cliché, but HAVE FUN. Getting involved can require effort at times, but make sure you are not only getting something out of it, but are enjoying what you are doing. I am sure I am not the first person to make you aware that college will be stressful at times, classes are going to be harder than what you experienced in high school, and it can be tough to be away from your families and on your own for the first time. Use campus involvement as an outlet. Let go of all those stresses as you enjoy knitting a hat, remember how lucky you are as you write a Christmas card for a child in the hospital, or feel security in your future as you listen to stories from people who have been where you are. After reading this I hope you feel both prepared and lucky. Lucky because going to a relatively small campus with big school spirit like Stevens makes it easy to get involved, and prepared because with this guide you are ready to fly with the ducks this year! I can’t wait to see you around campus!