The ultimate guide to getting more involved on campus
By Aditi Mehrotra ’19
As a junior who has been through much time at Dyson, I thought it would be a good idea to give you (whoever you are) some advice on how to thrive here. I came into Dyson as a sophomore transfer and had almost no idea what to do or where to go. Classes were great, people seemed cool, but I still felt a bit removed from the school. In all honesty, coming to Cornell is daunting—it’s a new place with new people and you don’t know where and how you’ll fit in.
If you are a new Dyson freshman, sophomore transfer, or anyone in between who shares these feelings, don’t fret! I found my path here and so will you. I just have a couple tips to expedite that process for you.
So here I give you my Super Duper Secret (not really) Guide to Getting Involved on Campus!
Clubs and extracurricular activities are probably the best way to start forming your community at Dyson and Cornell. They automatically give you a network of people who share similar interests as you, and they introduce you to people who you will probably have classes with or run into in Warren Hall or Mann Library since Dyson is such a small program. Without further ado, here is the ultimate guide to getting involved on campus:
1. Go to ClubFest
Ah, ClubFest, the one time a year where all clubs on campus come to Barton Hall to aggressively try to hand you flyers and quarter cards. It’s most definitely packed, probably hot and sweaty, and absolutely one of the most hectic events on campus besides Slope Day. However, if you’re looking for a place to start getting involved, it’s here.
Going to ClubFest may seem like a simple and obvious task, but you’d be surprised at how many people miss out on ClubFest because they are “too tired” to go or it’s “all the way in Barton” and they don’t want to walk that far.
This is the best way to find out WHAT clubs are on campus and HOW to join them. Most clubs have listservs that you can sign up for to get more information. They even have a whole section of ClubFest dedicated to business-focused clubs! I know that’s probably where most Dyson students tend to go.
2. Apply to tons of business clubs… Or don’t!
You are probably interested in some business-focused clubs because hey, you’re a Dyson student! Business clubs are a great way to learn more about business fields that you might want to pursue, gain experience, and join a community of people who can really help you succeed. It’s also a way to explore areas of business that you are not sure about and want to learn more. I personally am involved with the Cornell Marketing Organization, which is a business club that has given me real, tangible experience in the marketing world.
BUT, business clubs aren’t the only way to get more involved! I would highly recommend joining some other organizations just because you are interested. Cornell’s campus has something for everyone—from the F word, to the Cornell Daily Sun, to the Dance Dance Revolution Club. Do something just for fun, it will give you a chance meet people outside your major and relax during stressful times.
3. Don’t sweat it—keep trying
Applying to business clubs on campus is similar to applying for a job: information sessions, interviews, and the ultimate decision. While it can be tough, the process helps you when you start applying for jobs and internships. I, as many other people, have applied to clubs and not gotten in. It happens to everyone, but don’t let that discourage you. Apply to them again and keep showing interest!
4. Don’t overdo it
One of the biggest issues I faced was getting TOO involved. It’s good to join things, but don’t sacrifice your free time and school work for clubs on campus. As Cornell students, life can be a bit stressful. I have personally experienced times where I have a prelim, three club meetings, and work to keep track of, and it was so stressful. There is nothing wrong with taking time for yourself to catch up with friends and de-stress.
5. Use upperclassmen as resources
Upperclassmen have been some of the most wonderful people and have helped me so much. This could be your TAs, mentors, or just someone who you think is really cool. These people have already been in your shoes and know how to navigate Dyson and all the resources that come with it. Don’t be afraid to just approach someone and ask for advice or help! I know I would be flattered if someone asked me, and so would most other upperclassmen. Dyson is a very close-knit community, so take advantage of that!