How to survive the Activities Fair
As you may well know, Wash. U.’s activity fair is approaching this Wednesday, Sept. 5, in Brookings Quadrangle. In high school, it seemed as if we were destined for the activities we chose as we effortlessly climbed the leadership ladder of every club, after-school sport and honors program imaginable. At Wash. U., the idea of being “involved” is around every corner, mentioned in every email, encouraged in every classroom; it lurks in our minds as we constantly feel the guilt of not being a member of this or that club. At Wash. U., involvement is thrust upon us.
The greatest exhibition of this comes in the form of the biannual Activities Fair. A terrifying maze of winding activities, the activities fair is full of overeager freshmen bumping along with their new friends as upperclassmen pop out of seemingly nowhere to find the next victim of their carefully prepared spiel. As if you haven’t been told a million times, freshmen, this isn’t high school. Here are a few tips on surviving your first activities fair:
Choose where you write down your email wisely.
In case there was any doubt in your mind, the clubs you sign up for will in fact email you and continue to email you throughout your entire Wash. U. career. I entered the Activities Fair with the somewhat naïve idea that I was going to be a star writer for every publication on campus, and to this day I continue to receive emails from these obscure papers despite the fact that I have never attended a meeting. Don’t be afraid to write down your name but remember to be selective in the process.
Choose a flow and stick with it.
There doesn’t seem to be any particular order to the fair. Find a buddy, start at the beginning, and wind in and out of the madness in an effort to create your own order. If you attempt to find that one club that you know you want to join, it will most likely disappear off the earth forever so that you are stuck wandering unsuccessfully for thirty minutes. Instead, embrace the disorganization, and you may even stumble upon a club you never knew existed, like the Alternative Lifestyle Association or the Bhakti Yoga Club.
Before the impending pile of work begins to add up, this will be your only chance to try out anything and everything your little hearts desire. Bring a folder or tote, and take every brochure that even momentarily catches your eye. Instead of signing up for every email, open “Notes” on your smart phone and start a list of initial meeting times for each club. We were all once the president of everything, but at Wash. U., find what you love, and excel in those activities that are being thrust upon you.