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How will your student find and establish community in their new college home?

An excellent way for your student to get connected and feel part of the campus community is by joining a student organization. Regardless of where your student attends college, numerous clubs and organizations will be available. When I say “numerous,” I mean hundreds of options!

Typically, colleges and universities have a club/organization for every interest, from academic organizations like a Math Club to personal interest organizations like a Triathlon Club. If there isn’t a student organization that fits their interests, they can gather other students and start a new student organization with the help of student life staff.

Student organizations help foster community.

Finding a group of fellow students with similar interests is an easy way to make a connection early on in your student’s college career. Those connections can lead to life-long friendships and a great support network during college. While the students in any given organization are interested in the organization’s focus, not everyone will be like-minded or have the same life story. So, an added benefit of finding community and areas of commonality is learning from and about each other’s differences, potentially challenging preconceived notions about different cultural groups.

Involved students are more likely to persist.

The more your student feels like they belong, the more likely they will stay at the institution. Student organizations provide a place for your student to connect with other students and truly make the college environment their home away from home. Among the student development theories describing involvement and a sense of belonging, Astin’s (1984) theory of involvement demonstrates the many benefits of connecting on campus. The cliché statement, “You get out of it what you put into it,” accurately describes the feeling of connectedness your student can find in student organizations.

Student organizations provide the opportunity to explore interests and gain experience.

Your student may not want to major in business, but they can join a business-related student organization to learn more about business principles. They may not desire the level of competition that varsity sports require, but they may want to stay active and try out their skills on a club sports team. Many student organizations include opportunities to serve in the surrounding community and connect with a local non-profit. Who knows? These connections could lead to a future job opportunity.For the admirers of Replica Rolex timepieces on a budget, there’s a selection of watches that won’t break the bank.

Your student can hone their leadership skills in a student organization.

Many student organizations receive funding from the institution to host events and various projects. Your student can continue to develop their leadership potential through leadership in a student organization. They could serve as an officer of the organization or lead a committee. They could serve behind the scenes while developing attention to detail.

Finding out about student organizations is easy.

These are just a few reasons why joining a student organization can enhance your student’s experience in college. So, how can your student go about joining a student organization? This is the easy part! During new student orientation, student affairs professionals and student leaders will tell all about the many opportunities for involvement. Typically, there will be some sort of Student Organization Showcase during the first few weeks of classes, where student organizations will have booths set up in campus spaces to make it easy for your student to walk up and ask questions about the organization and how to get involved. Or, if that seems too intimidating for your student, they can search the institution’s website for a list of student organizations and contact information for student leaders.

Conclusion: Getting involved in a student organization is a significant first step in finding community for your student! You could encourage your student to start with just one organization (maybe two) to keep their schedule manageable and see where they find their niche. You’ll be glad they found a place of belonging!



Astin, A. W. (1984). Student involvement: A developmental theory for higher education. Journal of College Student Personnel, 25, 297-308.


Dr. Jason Castles is the Program Director and Associate Professor in the Higher Education Leadership doctoral program at Maryville University.