HSSP is an amazing community, but don’t enclose yourself in a bubble. One of the aspects about the University of Michigan that enticed me was its wealth of resources. I didn’t really know what that meant until I got here, but I soon found out that it’s true that it does have A LOT. The amount of different organizations and clubs that are on campus is almost overwhelming. There is something for everybody here, it’s just up to you to find it!
I believe that it’s imperative for students to get involved. There is so much more to college than studying! The organizations that I’m involved in have taught me so much more than what I could ever learn in a classroom. Being involved on-campus helps to cultivate you into a more well-rounded, well-informed student.
A lot of students are concerned about managing their time with all the activities they are involved in. I’m a part of the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP), an organization that is especially great for students who have never researched before as it helps students find positions and get into a lab. It’s also helpful in giving students an overview of the different levels and kinds of research. I am currently involved in the Pre-Dental Association (PDA), a club that provides information about different dental careers, the application process, and current healthcare problems. It arranges opportunities for members to meet and work with current dental students and faculty. The dental students I have talked to through PDA have been extremely helpful in informing me about what the career is like at their level and the inside scoop on the dental admissions exam. Finally, the Asian InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (AIV) has been extremely important in the development of my faith through small group discussions, large group discussions, and leadership opportunities across campus. I am involved in many things, but I have been able to make it all work by staying organized and prioritizing my time.
First-year HSSPers Gabrielle Young and Suzanne Cardosi also shared their experiences. Gabrielle (Gabby) Young is a part of Circle K, a service organization that organizes many local projects and events. In Circle K, she is a part of the Children’s Committee that specifically works with the Wild Swan Theater organization to create projects related to serving children. Gabby also went to Chicago through Alternative Spring Break (ASB), and she worked with family services to help individuals with differing abilities. As a research assistant in UROP, she is working in the hospital in a project called “Understanding Stress in the ICU.”
Suzanne is involved in a lot of activities such as Cadence, a student-run dance group. She is also in the Pre-Physical Therapy Club (Pre-PT Club). The club invites speakers - real practicing physical therapists or faculty from the School of Kinesiology - to talk about their experience as well as different aspects of physical therapy. Suzanne has also shared that the club helps students get connected to PT opportunities and internships that would otherwise be very hard to obtain on one’s own. She is a part of the HSSP Dance Marathon group. Dance Marathon is the biggest student-run organization on campus, and they raise money for patients at Mott Children’s Hospital.
With all of the opportunities on campus, it can be difficult balancing school work with extracurricular activities. In order to make sure you aren’t committing to too many activities Gabby advises you to ask yourself: “Is this something my college experience would be lacking without?”
College is hard, and it’s important to set yourself up for success. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself with too much. Like Suzanne says: “It’s manageable! You just have to plan ahead and stay organized.”
To find out more about all the clubs and organizations on campus, I recommend browsing through Maize Pages. The university also has different events like Festifall, a showcase of the organizations on campus. It’s a great time to walk around on the Diag and sign up and talk to the members of the clubs.