1. Join Greek Life - I feel like this is what you may automatically think of when figuring out how you're going to make friends on a large campus. While this is obvious, it is a definite option and it is perfect for certain types of students. By no means is it for everyone, but if it is something you're leaning towards then definitely research your university's Greek life organizations and ask some upper-classmen about it when you get on campus. No matter what though, you want to make sure you go through the process because it is something you want to do, it is a four-year commitment.
2. Get Involved with your Major - Immersing yourself in your major group can provide you with great opportunities for getting involved on campus. You can find research opportunities, on-campus jobs, potential internships, and a group of like-minded friends that champion for the same things you do. If you're taking a lot of the same classes with students, you all can probably find things to get involved with, like on-campus events, speakers, conferences ... etc. Your professors might even have ideas or maybe they advise a student organization for your academic program!
3. Find a Student Group you Like - When you attend the Activities Fair in the Fall, you will be gravitated towards certain groups and populations of students -- usually they have similar values as you. If this is the case, then pursue those groups. Attend their meetings and try to get involved with their special projects. Whether it is the Black Student Union, College Republicans, Diversity United, International Student Organization, or the Jewish Student Group, find an organization that you align with and would like to be associated with for your years on campus! They will have events hosted throughout the year, so it is a great way to gain leadership experience too as you become an upper-classman.
4. Commit to an Athletic Team - So, at larger universities, being on an athletic team is a HUGE commitment, practically a full-time job in addition to your school work, so if you feel that you have the talent, the drive, and the desire to make that commitment, then you should really pursue that. However, if you love the sport, but don't necessarily have that D-1 talent, then look into becoming a student manager or equipment manager for the team. You can still be involved in that atmosphere and be connected to the sport you love, without the full commitment of workouts, one-on-one sessions with the coaches, and the study hall hours.
5. Become a Student Leader - Another great way to get involved on campus is to become a student leader with your student government association. Each university's is structured differently, but if you loved being a leader in high school, why not jump into it at the university level. You can join as a representative for your class year (e.g. Freshmen, Sophomore) and then rise through the ranks as you grow and learn more about the student government. This leadership can also help you gain access to student committees and student chairperson positions on administrative and faculty committees as well!
6. Talk to People - As silly as this may seem, talk to your classmates, people that live on your floor, administrators, bosses, professors, upperclassmen you see at lunch. Talk to them and see how they are getting involved, what they have going on. Who knows, they could be started a new club that is right up your alley and something you would love to work on! Talking to people and learning about others is a great way to learn about opportunities on your campus, so definitely put yourself out there and meet some new and interesting people!!
I hope this post has helped you guys a little in planning for your transition to a larger university or for changing the way you are doing things there now. Just remember, getting involved is essential on any college campus, so find your niche and go with it!
enjoy the chase,