As a new student at Tech, getting involved can seem like a monumental task. But there are a number of ways to find your community, such as Week of Welcome, the Fall organizations and research fairs, and a number of others that can help you find your place. If you’re looking to join a student organization at Tech, you can be sure that there is an organization for you. As a freshman, the engage website, gatech.educampuslabs.com, was a resource I used aid in my own search. You can use the search bar to look for different organizations and select specific types to join from professional and career-oriented ones to fun and recreational ones. Each organization has a page on Engage with information on how to contact them, their social media and website and how to join. It doesn’t hurt to send questions to the organization if you’re hoping to learn more!
If you’d like to meet different student organization leaders, Week of Welcome and the Fall organization fair is the place for you! During Week of Welcome, you’ll get to attend events and workshops hosted by a number of organizations. This is a great way to meet other students and learn about how they got involved at Tech. At the fall organizations fair, you’ll get a chance to meet other students from nearly 200 organizations! All of the organization leaders are extremely excited to meet you, the newest students at Tech. The fair is a great opportunity to mingle with student leaders, hear about their organizations and maybe grab some free swag. It also doesn’t hurt to express your interest to different organizations and sign up for different email lists from them. You might get a ton of emails at first, but eventually you might see some event or opportunity that piques your interest. These are just some of the ways you can find organizations that interest you. Walking around campus and on social media, you’ll also see plenty of advertisements for different events happening on campus. If something catches your eye, check it out! Take advantage of being a freshman by asking questions and trying new things. You may just find something you really enjoy.
You may also learn what you’re not interested in. Joining a premed organization on campus helped me realize I didn’t want to be a doctor anymore. At Tech, we have over 400 student organizations that are tailored for nearly every interest you may have. We have a number of cultural organizations from India Club and the African Student Association to the Filipino Student Association and the Latin American Student Organization. There are a number of religion organizations on campus for all sects and denominations. There are a number of academic and career-oriented organizations too such as pre-health organizations, Mock Trial, Model UN and engineering professional organizations. If you’re a CS student, there are a number of organizations you can join like Data Science at GT and Bits of Good. Reck Club is a great organization to join if you’re interested in Tech traditions and school spirit. You can get more connected with the Institute by joining GT Ambassadors, Tour Guides and the Student Alumni Association. There are also a number of organizations tailored to specific issues on campus and around Atlanta. The Mental Health Student Coalition and If You’re Reading This GT are among some of the mental health organizations at Tech. We also have a number of sustainability organizations at Tech including the Association for Sustainable Investment and Students Organizing for Sustainability. There are a number of recreational organizations at Tech like Tech Treks and Roller Derby. And if you’re into sports, join the club and recreational teams at Tech, and sign up for intramurals throughout the year. Finally, if you’re interested in writing, come join us at the Technique!
You may feel overwhelmed by all the ways to get involved or struggle to find a place you belong in. Just know that almost every Tech student has gone through this. When I first came to Tech, I was worried about finding my community. I joined a few organizations as soon as I arrived on campus, but I never found a place that I really enjoyed. I left these organizations after being involved for just a few weeks, hoping to find other places that I felt more connected with. I attended different events that were going on around campus but didn’t find anything that really interested me.
Eventually, I ended up joining the Student Government Association (SGA) as a member of the Dining Committee after seeing an email about it. Over the course of the year, I was able to make a few friends in SGA who I’d stay connected with throughout my time at Tech. I continued to be involved with SGA, becoming a committee chair my sophomore year, and one of the VPs on Cabinet my junior year. SGA was a great place for me to find other students who were as passionate as me about advocating for better well-being on campus, and I was lucky to meet some of my closest friends during the three years I spent in SGA. I also joined an organization called SMILE during my sophomore year after a friend of mine in SGA encouraged me to join it. SMILE helped me find a community of peers who cared about spreading positivity around Tech (if you’re interested in joining, reach out to us at [email protected]!). I became a member of the leadership team my junior year and now serve as one of the VPs. SMILE provided the community I was looking for and I’ve been lucky to meet so many of my best friends through it. Coming to Tech as a new student, it may seem overwhelming and hard to find your place. But don’t worry! Everyone else is facing the same challenge and you don’t have to find your community as soon as you come to campus. These next few months, you’ll have the opportunity to try new things and meet so many different people! Don’t give up if you don’t find your place immediately; it may take some time but once you find an organization that you love, you may just meet some of your best friends.