Written by: Lavonn Ackerman, Communications Assistant, DePaul University Career Center
When I was a freshman, my main concern was ensuring I was not going to be alone all the time. Everyone wants to make friends and I think it’s a natural thing to worry about when transitioning to college. Reflecting back, this worry caused me to get involved in way too many things! Based on my experience, these are the things I would recommend trying out.
1. Group Chats/Facebook Groups
(Official DePaul University Class of 2021 on Facebook)
One of the earliest ways that I got involved, before classes even started, was joining Facebook groups and group chats started by other people in my class. When you are accepted to DePaul, you will be prompted to join the official Facebook page for your class. From this, I found that many students created specialized group chats based on common interests.
2. The Involvement Fair
(Brooke Jackson @ DeBlogs)
At the beginning of the year, DePaul invites every student organization to meet on the Quad in Lincoln Park to share information about how to get involved. Going to the Involvement Fair is a great way to see what orgs are on campus and what they have to offer.
3. Join Greek Life
During the involvement fair, some of the liveliest groups of people will be those in Greek-letter organizations. Many GLO’s are close-knit groups of friends that also are passionate about doing service. Greek life at DePaul has four categories: Interfraternity Council, Multicultural Greek Council, National Pan-Hellenic Council, and Panhellenic Council.
4. RA Events
(depaul_cmc on Instagram)
As a former RA, one of our main responsibilities was to build community through floor events. At these events, you may meet someone you never would’ve spoken to otherwise. RAs are also very knowledgeable about different orgs on campus so feel free to ask them for advice. (Pro tip: RAs also usually bring free food to their events!)
5. Academic Department Events
(DePaul University College of Communication on Facebook)
Meeting and networking with students and alumni who have similar academic and career interests as you can be very beneficial in many ways. Academic offices put on events that include guest speakers and professionals in every field. These events will be posted on Handshake, bulletin boards, and the office’s social media pages.
6. Intramural Sports
(depaulcampusrec on Instagram)
Intramural sports is a free way to get active without the pressure of being on one of DePaul’s official sports teams. You can sign up as a team or join as a free agent to be added to one. There are many different sports that play throughout the year.
7. Community Service
(DePaul University Division of Mission and Ministry)
One of DePaul’s pillars is community service, modeled after the Vincentian question “what must be done?” DePaul truly lives out this mission with many opportunities for community service. The DePaul Community Service Association serves neighborhoods across Chicago and service immersion trips take place all over the country.
8. Start your own organization
If you’ve tried everything and nothing seems to be a good fit, think about starting your own student org. All you need are four friends, an advisor, and a constitution!