Opinions: Clubs great way to make friends and memories
The Best Buddies program pairs UA students with students with special needs.
Freshman year of college is the perfect time to get involved in different clubs, sports or Greek life to meet new people and help build a resume. The number of options can be intimidating, but that shouldn’t be a reason not to get involved. The University of Arizona offers a wide range of organizations for students to join. It’s never too late to start participating.
Formal recruitment for sororities ended about a month ago, but there is still time to go Greek! The brand-new Greek organization to campus, Alpha Sigma Alpha, is still accepting members. They have a link to sign up for an interview on their Instagram bio. This sorority is a wonderful option for girls who missed out on formal recruitment but don’t want to miss out on the amazing sisterhood that going Greek will bring.
Greek life isn’t for everyone, which is why it’s nice to have so many other ways to get involved. Clubs can also serve as a way to meet new people who have similar interests. Best Buddies club takes new members throughout the entire year and provides friendships for students, as well as for people with special needs.
Students who join the club early in the year have the option to be assigned the role of being a peer buddy.
“Being a peer buddy means you get set up in a one-on-one friendship," said Kristin Chandler, a junior and Best Buddies vice president. "You get to build a friendship with someone with special needs, and it’s really fun. It’s my favorite, personally."
Chandler explains that it’s a very special relationship because for as long as a member is in the club they will have the same buddy:
“If someone joins their freshman year and stays [through] their senior year, they have the same person throughout those four years," Chandler said.
The members and their buddies hang out at all the events put on by Best Buddies and on their own at least twice a month, which allows the friendship to feel very natural and real.
Those interested in being a Best Buddy can visit their website for application details. If being a peer buddy seems like too big of a time commitment, there are other ways to get involved that don't match you up with someone. People can still go to all the events and build friendships, so it’s less responsibility, Chandler said.
There are many fun events held by Best Buddies for members and their buddies. One of the first is the match party, where members get their matched buddy. There are also holiday parties throughout the year and a group of members and buddies go to Winterhaven to look at the Christmas lights in the winter.
“Last year, we did a tailgate through ASUA. ... They brought burgers, hot dogs and chips, and we all tailgated for the baseball game, which was really fun,” Chandler said.
The biggest event each year is the prom. There is a dance, pizza and a king and queen are crowned. Chandler described her favorite memory from Best Buddies.
"[It was] the prom when my buddy won king because I was so proud of him. He’s really into music, so he told me his favorite song at the moment and I got it to play as he was being crowned and he started dancing and came over and hugged me.”
Best Buddies had their first meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 11, but the club is still taking new members. If interested, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Joining a club or being part of an organization is really important to a college experience because it allows new friendships to develop, and having college clubs on a resume looks impressive to future employers.
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