Find your identity through campus involvement

It is common knowledge that the key to adapting to college is involvement. The point is repeatedly stressed to freshmen; the names of various clubs are constantly thrown in everyone’s faces for the first few weeks of the year. It seems that most freshmen gravitate towards sororities and fraternities to feel a sense of home and instant acceptance with a large group of people. I, however, chose not to join any sorority (just not my style), so I joined a club instead. There are hundreds of clubs to choose from, but I immediately found the office of the campus’ Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Community.

I’m not saying that everyone should join the GLBC; our minority status on campus is stunningly obvious.

But the clubs offered at UM range from the AIDS awareness group (AWARE) to the Hip-Hop Club to clubs focused on minority groups, such as the Asian-American Club.

For the volunteer in all of us, Foods Not Bombs is a group of selfless people who would love any help for their cause. There is something for everyone, whether you like radio or philosophy.

Now, I know that a small amount of freshmen can balance club involvement with their sorority/fraternity lives, and hats off to them. My point is that if the Greek Life just isn’t for you, for whatever reason, simply join a club.

Many people are minorities, whether it is being homosexual or African-American or even just being female. Join the club of your minority to instantly be surrounded by people just like you. Suddenly your social calendar will fill with dinner dates and meetings and trips, and life at UM will be sprinkled with outings and planning events and truly fun things to do. And it’s free!

If you’re not a minority, just the Average Joe, think about what you enjoy. If you like math, join the math club. If you like pondering the existential crises of man, join the philosophy club. Decide what makes you YOU and then run with it.

A lot of girls I’ve met are so utterly focused on buying the right clothes for their sorority sisters, and they spent the first couple of weeks so utterly absorbed in Greek Life that there isn’t time for anything else. You don’t need sororities and fraternities to make friends; you just need the most important thing in your life: your identity.

Dara Solomon is majoring in print journalism.