GrizzOrgs: Helping students get connected, one club at a time

Going from a place that you call home to a college campus with over 20,000 students and dozens of buildings is scary.

It’s easy to feel lost and it can be hard to find where you belong, regardless of whether you are an on-campus resident or a commuter.

I came from a high school of 600 students, with a graduating class of just over 100. I knew the same people I was graduating with and my school’s staff for many years.

If I wasn’t at school, I was somewhere playing basketball. That’s what I spent my time doing and that’s where all my friends ─ my teammates ─ were.

Everything was familiar to me, and there’s a sense of safety in familiarity. That safety is something you don’t realize is there until, well, it’s gone.

Then I moved to Rochester ─ a city an hour from my home that I’ve visited less than five times ─ into a dorm with a girl I had just met a few months before earlier, onto a campus where I knew less than five of thousands of people.

I was looking forward to the opportunity to “start fresh,” but I didn’t know just how different it would be.

I no longer had my teammates. I went from seeing the same faces every day to rarely ever seeing the same face twice in one week, with the exception of those in my classes.

I spent several months not knowing what to do, not knowing where I truly belonged at this place that was supposed to be my new home for eight months of the year for the next four years and I was scared.

And then I decided to get involved.

I joined a student organization, simply by attending a meeting. I made friends, had something to do in my free time and became passionate about being able to contribute to something bigger than myself.

I learned valuable lessons about the importance of communication and how to properly lead, and it felt good to finally become a part of something again.

But it isn’t just about me, it’s about being able to represent Oakland University in a positive way – through fundraising, volunteering, informing people of campus news and so on.

Student organizations saved me from completely hating college, helped me make friends and gave me something to belong to again.

There’s something for you at Oakland University. Go out and find it.

There are over 200 student organizations offered at Oakland University, ranging from categories like academic, to faith-based, to social awareness and even club sports, to name a few.

You can join an organization to have fun and socialize, take a stand on social issues, express your religion with others or help you with your major. The possibilities are endless.

One can start by visiting GrizzOrgs, which is found on Oakland’s website and Sail. The website allows you to browse student organizations and provides contact information for E-board members.

Many organizations update GrizzOrgs with events, meeting times and locations, and most organizations advertise their meetings on posters in the Oakland Center too. Attending a meeting is the first step in joining an organization.

Also, attend events on campus that student organizations are showcased at, like involvement fairs and jump start, where you can meet members, see what organizations are about and find out when upcoming events and meetings are scheduled.

I know this year, many new Golden Grizzlies are going to feel the same way I did when I came here in 2013, but I want you to know that first, it’s normal. New things are supposed to make you uncomfortable.

That is why I challenge you to get involved. I challenge you to try things you’ve never tried before. I challenge you to find your passion and find other people with the same passion, too.

If I, the high school jock from a small town, can do it, you can too. 

  • This year’s Jump Start for First Year Students will be from 10:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 1 in Banquet Rooms A and B in the Oakland Center.
  • There will also be an involvement fair on Wednesday, Sept. 2 during New Student Orientation part two.
  • Visit Grizz Orgs at
  • Categories:
    • Academic (business, education, engineering, health sciences, nursing, pre-professional)
    • Club sports
    • Departamental
    • Faith-based
    • Graduate students
    • Greek
    • Honorary
    • Media
    • Multicultural
    • Performing
    • Political
    • Professional development
    • Recreational
    • Service
    • Social
    • Social awareness
    • Student governance
    • University