The Daily Gamecock

Column: Start the semester off right by joining a new club or organization

The time of New Year’s resolutions is upon us: This semester you should make your resolution to join a club. No matter what piques your interest, there is a student organization and a supportive community that can help you get out of your comfort zone and bolster your resumé. 

While Jan. 1 has come and gone, it’s not too late to set new intentions and start the year by trying something different. Our university is a large campus with new clubs and organizations starting up frequently. When looking for a place to begin your search, GarnetGate is a site dedicated to student organizations that help you get involved in a new interest or rekindle an old one. 

The Mountaineering and Whitewater Club (MWW) is an outdoor adventure club at USC that takes trips throughout the Southeast to bring students out into nature. 

Matthew Chasney, a fourth-year political science and geography student, is an executive officer of this organization who said that meeting new people was the most rewarding aspect of joining MWW. 

“Just getting to know all these people you wouldn’t have gotten to know and then finding all these things in common that you have,” Chasney said. 

The biggest reward of joining a new club, regardless of the club itself, can be meeting friendly faces and finding a place where you feel accepted. 

Maybe you're looking for volunteer hours to add to your resumé and want a fun way of checking that box or just want to beef up your resumé with lots of university-related involvement. There are plenty of clubs to join for exactly those reasons. 

The Give a Dog a Bone organization kicked off in spring 2019 and members have been volunteering at the Final Victory Shelter ever since.

Being a member of an organization doesn’t have to be extremely time-consuming. Maddie Romanski, a third-year biology and criminal justice student and the president of Give a Dog a Bone, said her club allows students to volunteer during times that work for them.

“We have a very good flexible volunteering schedule. You can volunteer whatever days they're open for volunteers and go see the dogs so you can help with dishes, cleaning their kennels, walking dogs,” Romanski said. 

Joining any organization comes with responsibilities and the benefit of getting a leg up on important life skills. These organizations can help you achieve your career goals. For example, being a treasurer if you're an accounting major or being a public relations major who runs social media accounts can help you in future careers. 

“We have a diverse amount of positions. Treasurer you'd be having a lot of handling money, working as a team to plan events and just make sure the organization runs smoothly,” Romanski said. 

That first step of joining a club and putting yourself out there is always the hardest part, but once you’ve managed to get that behind you, there’s so much to look forward to. Members of the Give a Dog a Bone organization know this well. 

Alex Morris, a first-year accounting and finance student, just joined Give a Dog a Bone this year and said she volunteers as often as possible. 

“You've just got to reach out ... go to org fair, check out Garnet Gate," Morris said. "And if they're curious, email clubs. Because I know all the email contacts are on GarnetGate and that's how I reached out to a bunch of clubs that I'm in.”

If you're interested in more information on these clubs and others, be sure to check out the Spring Student Organization Fair happening on Greene Street next Wednesday, Jan. 26. The fair runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. 

There’s plenty to discover at USC as long as you give yourself the chance. Clubs and organizations are actively seeking new members every day and those opportunities can help drive away a second-semester funk. Start the New Year off on a high note — you never know what could be in store.