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February 26, 2024 by

At the very beginning of every school year, student organizations (orgs) spread out for a night on the lawn to recruit potential members. On what always happens to be a beautiful night, freshmen are invited to peruse these orgs and figure out which ones to join. While all carry stickers and candy to earn your commitment, it’s important to consider which ones are worth your time — you only have so much, especially as a college student! The orgs that are most worth your time, and most beneficial to you and your future, are likely major-specific orgs. Explore what these orgs have to offer as you consider how to get involved in college. 

Benefit #1: You learn from other students who understand you. 

I promise, someone else is in the same boat as you! You can learn from and socialize with people who have your same professors, coursework, and textbooks. They share many of your school-related struggles and can provide support and assistance. They can give a heads-up about what a class may look like, provide tips on how to juggle your major’s course load while leading a fulfilling social life, become your study buddies, and share the costs of textbooks with you.  

What’s unique to major-specific orgs compared to your major classes is that you can socialize regularly with people who aren’t in the same graduating class as you. While you enter classes somewhat sequentially and usually only talk to people in your year, orgs provide an easygoing environment to converse with older peers (and even professors!) who are willing to give advice on how to best navigate your specific major. 

You also learn to engage with people you may not normally talk to. We tend to find our close friends freshman or sophomore year and stick to those same people throughout our time at Cedarville. Joining a major-specific org opens doors to creating meaningful relationships with those who are different from you but share a common goal. This is a valuable skill to develop for your classes, your workplace, and especially the rest of your life. Seek to find those common connections and build on those! 

Involvement in these orgs develops community that enhances your passion for the field. Interacting with your major in settings where there’s no looming pass/fail truly makes you remember why you chose that major, even if the rest of your time is spent studying for chemistry, writing lesson plans, finding business internships you get the point. Give yourself the chance to fall in love with your future career with others who love it just as much as you do. 

Students doing a hand pile.

Benefit #2: You receive opportunities for professional development. 

Before you begin your career, officers and advisors in major-specific orgs seek to create meaningful events for professional development that will better equip members to enter the field. These events typically share information you do not receive in your classes. The officers of your org work to bring in outside expert voices or even knowledgeable leaders within the field on campus to organize events that support student professional growth. 

Many major-specific orgs also do cross-disciplinary collaborations with other orgs so that their members become more well-rounded in their field. Each major has endless potential career paths to pursue, and getting exposure to multiple disciplines helps you discover how you will use your gifts for the glory of God. 

Attending professional development events also elevates your skills related to your major. You expand your expertise in your area of study, increase potential hireability, and gain confidence in your abilities. Jumping into these events now is a small investment that will ultimately yield valuable results long term. 

Professor lecturing a class outside the Apple Technology Resource Center

Benefit #3: It looks great on a resume! 

If nothing else has convinced you, maybe your future salary will! Employers love connecting with prospective employees who demonstrate dedication, interest in the field, and great personalities. Putting your major-specific involvement on a resume implies all of these characteristics. 

Brina Davis, a Career Services Assistant for Cedarville’s Career Services, comments on the benefit of these orgs to your resume: 

“Being involved in major-specific organizations enhances a resume by showcasing a student’s commitment and passion for their field of study. These involvements demonstrate practical application of academic knowledge, development of relevant skills, and a proactive engagement with industry-related activities. Additionally, participation in such organizations often fosters networking opportunities, allowing individuals to connect with professionals and peers who share similar career interests, further enriching their professional development.” 

In addition to the many benefits Brina Davis mentioned, many orgs bring in experts from the field. These are great opportunities to make connections, find opportunities to get involved in your career around the community, and learn about job opportunities available to you in case you’re not exactly sure what path you want to take. 

Ultimately, major-specific student organizations are designed to work in your best interest. Whether you remain a member or choose to become an officer, any involvement will benefit you. As you consider which orgs to join amidst a busy schedule, reflect on the ways a major-specific org can work for you! 

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