Clubs, Greek Life, Major-oriented Fraternities, Service Opportunities, and Finding Your Place!

Finding a close-knit community on campus.

By Catherine Russell December 21, 2022
What My Life Is Like Living in Downtown Ann Arbor as a First-year Student

The University of Michigan offers so many different clubs and organizations to make its students feel at home and a member of a smaller, close-knit community. When I first came to the university, I felt that to fit in and find my people, I needed to be a member of every group on campus. However, I soon realized that is not the case and that you do not have to be a part of every organization, group, or club to be an active member of the Michigan community.

There are an infinite number of organizations here on campus, and it may feel overwhelming at first to figure out which ones you are interested in and would like to join. In the fall semester, every club and group at the university sets out booths in the Diag so students can learn more about each and potentially join something they are interested in. From rushing to a sorority, fraternity, or a major-oriented fraternity, to joining the intramural women’s soccer team or even applying to be a member of the Michigan Marketing Club, there is a place for everyone on campus. College is also a time of finding yourself and experimenting with new things, so joining a group centered around something you have never done before does not hurt.

The university understands that for first-year students, it can be challenging and nerve-wracking to meet new people and make new friends. The school does a fantastic job welcoming first-years to campus by planning first-year mixers and gatherings with the goal of you meeting your classmates and potential new best friends. It is easier than one may think to meet new people. Simply walking through the Diag to your classes or sitting next to someone new at a local coffee shop or in a dining hall and introducing yourself is a straightforward way of making connections and finding new friends here at the university. However, if joining a club, fraternity and sorority life, or a sports team is not for you, there are still so many organizations and opportunities for students to connect. (You can explore many of the 1,600+ student organizations on campus on the Maize Pages website.) From getting a job through the university at a local library or coffee shop to volunteering at service-oriented outreaches to practicing your faith at a local parish, there are many other ways to be an active student without having to be a member of a club.

When it comes down to getting involved on campus, my most extensive advice is to do what you can manage and not overdo extracurriculars if it is too stressful. You do not have to be a member of every group on campus to find where you belong; that is simply something that comes with time on its own.

Catherine Russell

Catherine Russell is a first-year student at the University of Michigan, majoring in business through the Ross School of Business and minoring in entrepreneurship. Catherine is from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and is interested in creative writing and marketing. Catherine loves to spend time with friends, explore new places, travel, and find the best coffee shops on campus!