Oberlin Blogs

Getting Involved on Campus

February 25, 2023

Phoebe McChesney ’25

When I first came to Oberlin, I didn't know what my life would look like in college. I mean, I had seen the movies but had never experienced the reality. I was sort of afraid I wouldn't be able to find much to do outside of classes. In high school, I did not have much free time to engage in extracurriculars other than 45-minute enrichment periods that would come at the end of every school day. 

But in college, I have a lot more freedom and quite a bit more time. My first year here, my roommate and I would go to campus events like the club fair to learn more about the student organizations present on campus. I found that to be useful in getting my name on the email lists of some organizations and then getting periodic updates about events, meeting times, and locations. From there, I was able to pick and choose what I wanted to attend and what I wanted to dedicate time to. When you're first looking to get involved, it's worth throwing stuff at the wall and seeing what sticks. 

I've also found the daily Campus Digest to be particularly helpful. Organizations and offices throughout the college will make announcements to students and staff via email through the Digest. While it can be quite a lot of information to scroll through, and from what I've heard, many tend not to, I have actually gotten fulfilling opportunities by taking time to skim the daily announcements and applying to positions. It may also be helpful to ask around about what organizations and activities exist that are hiring, recruiting new members, or open to joiners.

I also keep my eyes open for posters tacked up around campus. Oftentimes, posters with opportunities and openings will pile up on bulletin boards in the libraries, class buildings, atria, and outdoor signboards. If an academic department you're interested in has a Slack, consider joining that for more about group activities, jobs, research, and internships.

New opportunities often pop up daily. Much of it is about keeping your eyes peeled, your mind open, and taking the initiative. 

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