How to Start a Student Organization

Activities such as organizations, clubs, and volunteer work are important when it comes to college, scholarship, and job applications. Colleges, scholarship providers, and prospective employers are always looking for leadership skills among their applicants. To make yourself stand out, think about something you’re passionate about. If there isn’t already a student organization surrounding that cause or activity, consider starting your own organization!

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Creating your own student organization is beneficial for you because it provides you with a way of meeting fellow students with interests similar to yours who you can work with toward a common goal. It’s also great for your school because it will allow students to become more involved on campus and they’ll be able to provide a more diverse set of extracurricular offerings to prospective students. Creating or even just participating in an organization is a great way build your resume while doing something you enjoy and are passionate about — what a sweet deal! If you’re interested in moving forward with your idea, here are the steps needed to start a student organization.

Step 1. Strategic Planning

First and foremost you will need to develop a mission and focus of your organization. There are many questions you should ask, and answer, before and during your planning to create a new organization. What are you passionate about? Why do you want to create an organization? What do you wish to achieve by creating this organization? Are there other students that share the same passion and goals? Is the organization appropriate for your college and fit into your college’s mission? Does it address any issues that the campus may be facing? Why does your organization need to be recognized by the school and how will it benefit the school? Is there an existing organization on campus that is similar to your organization’s mission and goals? The answers to these questions will be most helpful when you have to draft a proposal and constitution of the organization for your college’s approval. Familiarize yourself with the answers to all those questions, because college, administrators, advisors, and students will want to learn more about your organization before committing to it.

Step 2. Founding Members

In order to successfully start your organization, you will need support. Speak to people you believe will be interested or who can help you spread the word. Additionally, your school may require more than one member in order to establish the organization/club in the first place. Having additional founding members will also help ease your stress and tension because they can help you with the workload and preparation.

Step 3. Advising

Once you have an idea and people to support your plan and goals, you will need to speak to an advisor at your school to discuss next steps. Since different schools have different requirements, it is important to discuss with the advisors first before to see what else you’ll need to make your dream come true. Your advisor can answer most of your questions and concerns about getting your organization recognized and approved at the college.

Step 4. Paperwork

There will be quite a bit of paperwork, so be prepared to write, present, talk, and sign a whole lot. At this point, you need to sit down and draft the official documents for the organization. As the founder of the organization, you will most likely have to draft a constitution. This document should be detailed and include statements regarding the name of the organization and its meaning, what it stands for, the goal and purpose of the organization, the benefits of having the organization on campus and why the acknowledgement by the college is important, the activities the organization will participate in and any causes that the organization might be involved in, current and future plans for the organization, and how the organization can benefit the community in a bigger picture. Additional documents may be required depending on your organization.

Step 5. Congratulations!

After all your hard work, your organization is finally acknowledged by the college and is officially open to student involvement! Now it is time to establish the organization in the community of students. Utilize your marketing and public communication skills to recruit more members and encourage involvement in both the organization and the community. You can pass out flyers, hold information sessions, host activities and events to raise awareness of your organization, and participate in student-centered events and activities on and off campus to gain a better sense of community and recruit. It may be stressful and frustrating at first, but it will be well worth it when students begin to show interest and join. Remember to have fun with it. Good luck!

Still trying to figure out what you’re most passionate about? Cappex can help! Explore your interests by visiting our Colleges and Majors search tool.

image credit: ferguson.ua.edu

Original Post Date: December 17th, 2014

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The Financial Aid + FAFSA 101 Session: All you need to know about financial aid and more!

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Worried about how you’re going to pay for college? Cappex is here to help!

 

Cappex is hosting an online Financial Aid + FAFSA 101 Session, and it’s FREE for all interested high school students. The session will be lead by one of our financial aid experts, a former college and career counselor. She’ll give you the scoop on all things financial aid, including:

  • How to pay for college
  • Types of financial aid
  • How to apply for financial aid
  • Everything you need to know about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Tips for winning scholarships
  • And more!

 EVENT DETAILS

  • WHEN: Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at 6pm CST
  • WHERE: Online via your desktop or mobile device
  • COST: Free!
  • WHO: All interested high school students
  • HOW: Sign up by clicking this link. After you do, you’ll receive instructions for how to log into the event.

Register for free by clicking here!

Original Post Date: December 9th, 2014

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Stop What You’re Doing and Get Organized

Categories: College Life

plannerLearning how to plan, organize, and prioritize your school work and your personal life can help make you more successful. On top of possibly boosting your grades and lowering your stress level, mastering these skills now will help you in every aspect of life from here on out.

Honing your organizational skills can make you more marketable to employers. According to a survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, hiring managers said the ability to plan, organize, and prioritize work was one of the top three skill sets they look for when hiring recent college graduates. Need we say more?

If you struggle with meeting deadlines and operate in panic mode more often than you’d like, it could be because organization isn’t your strongest trait. The good news is it’s an easy skill to learn and the more you use it, the better you become! Here are five steps to help get you started.

Step 1. Start saying “no.”

Trying to balance demands from sports, extracurricular activities, work, friends, and family can leave you feeling frenzied and with no time to get organized. If this sounds familiar, practice saying “no” the next time you’re asked to help with a fundraiser, or consider backing off one of your sports. You may need to reduce the number of hours you work, and rein in your social life too. Before long, you’ll find you’re less stressed and have more time to conquer the tasks on your to-do list.

Tip: Take a look at your commitments and decide which ones you can cut out of your schedule. Then decide how many hours your school work and other requirements demand each day, and adjust your schedule accordingly.

Step 2. Seize the power of a to-do list.

Now that you’ve reduced your commitments a bit, use a to-do list to prioritize your tasks and maximize your new-found “free time.” Every night, write a to-do list for the next day and estimate how long it will take for you to tackle each chore. The moment you wake up you know exactly what needs to be done! You’ll discover that getting the tasks out of your head and prioritized into a to-do list can help you feel less besieged by all you have to do, and make you more efficient at accomplishing your tasks. You might even end up with some true free time! On the other hand, a to-do list can also help you realize there’s more to do than you thought, but finding out sooner than later gives you a change to be proactive. Rearrange your schedule right away, and dodge the dreaded all-nighter.

If writing your to-do list with pen and paper feels old-school, try an app like iProcrastinate. This app makes it easy to organize your to-do lists and responsibilities, set priority levels for tasks, and break tasks down into steps. iProcrastinate also offers a “sharable” feature, which is perfect for creating to-do lists for group projects.

Tip: If you’re a high school junior who’s dreaming of finding the perfect college, here’s a great Post-Thanksgiving College Search To-Do List to get you started!

Step 3. Set deadlines and abide by them.

Make a habit of setting deadlines to help break big projects or goals down into less daunting bite-sized tasks, and soon you’ll be crossing items off your to-do list with ease. At the beginning of each semester, create a calendar that identifies due dates for major assignments. Then work backward on the calendar, noting the date each aspect of the assignment must be turned in, or when you should have your research or first draft done.

If you have a number of assignments and deadlines and find keeping track of them is getting challenging, you might consider using an app like iStudiez Pro. This popular app separates functions into five key areas: Overview, Assignments, Planner, Instructors, and Holidays, and lets you set deadlines down to the minute. Among other features, iStudiez Pro also lets you plan study sessions, incorporate your class schedule, and even track your GPA.

Tip: You’ll be less likely to procrastinate if you reward yourself for meeting project milestones and deadlines. How about a latte or an excursion to the movies?

Step 4. Buy a good planner, and use it!

Whether you’re in high school or college, you need a good planner. It’s the ideal place to keep all of your deadlines and to-do lists right at hand. Be faithful about filling out your planner with all of your commitments, such as project meetings, drama rehearsals, and your work schedule, so with one quick glance you not only know what you have to do, you can easily spot competing priorities and make adjustments.

Tip: These days student planners come in an assortment of shapes and sizes, from petite and chic to full sized and professional. Whatever style you decide to go with, make sure it offers an academic calendar that starts in July or August, rather than a traditional one that begins in January. We love this Achieve Student Day Planner, complete with full color photography!

Step 5. Forgo multitasking, do one thing at a time for best results.

Pressed for time, many students learn to multitask like it’s their job. If you’re one of them, you should know that when you do several things at once (surf Instagram while writing a paper and watching TV) you’re less likely to be successful at any one of the tasks. In the end, that means you’ll spend more time than necessary writing your paper or studying for a test.

Tip: Organize your day by blocking out periods of time to conquer specific tasks, and say so-long to multitasking. Your to-do list will come in handy here! Maybe you’ll study from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., and then check in on social media for 30 minutes afterwards.

Like every new skill, it takes some time to master planning and organizing, but learning how to successfully accomplish a myriad of tasks in an efficient way will help you achieve success long after graduation.

Image credit: plannerhack.com

Original Post Date: December 5th, 2014

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