So it’s Recruitment Week again in Ateneo!
…In other words, my news feed is a flood of promo blasts and profile pictures all of which make me nostalgic about how much I loved org life. Honestly, orgs made my college experience ten times more memorable, and this whole post is a tribute to that.
For non-Ateneans, let me explain: orgs are a big thing for us because they allow us to pursue interests outside of academics, meet friends and most of all, have fun. They’re made up of people passionate about a cluster of interests including the performing arts, social advocacies, business, and much more. In Ateneo, there are 52 accredited orgs to choose from, and countless unaccredited groups you can join.
But even if you’re not in school anymore and joining clubs isn’t as convenient, I highly encourage you to find one in a field you’re interested in. I promise you it’ll change your life in surprising ways and here’s why:
1. GROWTH: Orgs expand your world and your skills set.
As a freshman I didn’t know what orgs I wanted to join, so being me I joined five. Haha! From these, I only stayed active in AJMA, my home org for four years. I never expected to get into marketing, but because of AJMA, I fell into something I both enjoyed and excelled at. I discovered that I liked handling events and promotions and working with people who make things happen. Over the years, I worked in projects with great people I never would’ve met otherwise. My point is, joining an org gets you out of your comfort zone. It can seem scary at first, but learning new things and meeting new people pushes you to grow in a good way.
2. FAMILY: Orgs give you a community with whom you can explore shared interests.
In junior year, my best friend Trish signed me up for The Loyola Film Circle and it was one of my favorite plot twists in college. I’ve always enjoyed movies, but meeting people passionate about all things film—including producing and critiquing them—made me appreciate this art by tenfold. Enthusiasm is contagious! Joining a group brought together by sheer enthusiasm is totally life-enhancing and this is exactly what I found in LFC. One of the things I miss most is hanging out in the org room, just watching movies and having fun. While I’m by no means the most “filmy” person (to be honest, rom coms are my favorite genre), being surrounded by passionate people fostered my creativity and inspired me to contribute my talents in whatever way I could.
3. MEANING: Orgs increase your sense of purpose.
However, among my most meaningful experiences were with my sector-based org, TUGON Ateneo. Our advocacy is to be at the forefront towards a country free from child sexual abuse and abandonment. For 30 years, we’ve helped abused and abandoned girls and babies through area visits and awareness projects. Joining TUGON in junior year, I felt the difference because we weren’t brought together by a common hobby, but a specific cause to fight for. As area head for Concordia Children’s Services, I organized daily trips for Tugoners to visit orphaned babies and also led visits every Monday. These area visits were the highlight of my every week and gave me something to look forward to, even if it meant extra sacrifices and going out of my way for a worthwhile cause.
On top of schoolwork and other commitments, actively being there for an org can (and will) get stressful but ultimately, it’s worth it. The secret to a fulfilling org life is to always remember your “why”—the greater reason why you’re investing yourself in these activities.
So take a chance and join an org. Or two. Or three. Each org is different but no matter where you end up, an org gives you new reasons to jump out of bed in the morning: new experiences, a renewed sense of purpose, and an amazing group of people to call home!
You can learn more about the Ateneo Junior Marketing Association’s projects here. Learn more about TUGON Ateneo’s advocacy here. Watch the Loyola Film Circle’s films here and check out the Under the Stars event page here. Read about all the other 52 orgs of Ateneo here and COA RecWeek 2015’s press release here.