As a resident assistant, executive board member, or other college leader, you’ve been around the block a time or two. You know that when Fall semester hits, it hits hard! You know that from day one, you’ve got unpacking, classes, reading, meetings, and lots and lots of planning for your organization. Give yourself a jump-start by checking out these tips on how you can prepare for next semester right now!
Your first few club meetings of the semester are rich with new ideas and goals for the year. Should we order club jackets or sweat pants this year? What group bonding activities should we do? What speaker should we bring on campus? What should we do to raise awareness on a particular issue? How can we afford that trip to D.C. at the end of the year? If you spend some time over the summer coming up with ideas for the Fall, you’re giving your whole organization a head start, and you’re demonstrating to the group that not only do you have a passion for your organization, you take responsibility. That makes you an attractive leader!
If your group meets at a college cabin the last week in October every year, check to make sure it’s been booked. If you’ll need to rent out a room every week at a particular time for a new organization you’ve started, look into how and when you’ll need to make those arrangements. Having reservations done will ensure for a smoother start to the Fall semester.
Clubs are always looking for new members. New members bring in new ideas and new talent. When you’ve graduated, it will be these individuals who will be taking your place running the group. Find a way to promote your organization to the incoming freshmen. Advertise your first event on campus when you know new students will be there for orientation. Make a Facebook page, web site, or Twitter feed for your group and encourage new college students to follow it for more information about your club. Make the freshmen feel welcome and encourage their interest!
Stay up-to-date on issues that may interest or affect your group. What’s been in the news this summer that you’ll want to discuss with other people who share your passion? Have there been any recent events your group should raise money for or get involved in? Has a new college rule changed the way your group will have to operate? Has anything happened on campus this summer that could cause conflict in your group? Staying up-to-date on current issues will allow your group to be more relevant in the Fall.
Before you return in the Fall, make sure you remember the names of the people in your group. While you might be a busy college senior for example, sophomores probably won’t think too highly of you if you can’t remember who they are. Send the people in your group personalized messages this summer through Facebook or email. Ask them how their summers are going, and if they’re excited for the Fall. The younger members of your group are critical to your group’s future, and it’s important that you set a good example of how your group should be led.