At the beginning of this academic year, my sophomore year, I decided to join the UC Rally Committee, a group of students I had seen on campus wearing bumblebee-colored rugby-style shirts and passing out flyers about upcoming rallies and games. I had very little idea of what I was getting myself into, and yet it was the best decision I have made in college so far. Here’s a little bit about why.
I decided to join because I wanted a friend group to go to the football games with and that’s all I expected to get out of it. I had a friend who had joined freshman year and I had watched from afar as she had a ton of fun her entire freshman year and I decided I wanted in on that fun. Why did I decide to join now, you may ask; why not second semester freshman year? Why not as soon as I saw her having fun? The answer is simple: freshman year I had a group of friends in the dorms and I didn’t feel I needed other friends. We ate meals together in the dining halls and left our doors open so we could hang out every night of the week. I was certain that we would never stop being friends. Until summer came and there were no more chats in the group chat and I realized my unbreakable friend group had only been friends by proximity. Don’t get me wrong, I have no regrets about becoming close with those people. I just wish I had joined more clubs to be more involved in the school to have other social circles in addition to them. So, I joined RallyComm because they had free football tickets, my friend had fun in it, and I wouldn’t be standing alone at the games.
As far as friendships go, I couldn’t hope for a better social group to have joined than RallyComm. RallyComm, unlike many clubs on campus, has no application process, no high fees (I believe it is $40 a year), and no required events or meetings. There are weekly meetings, home football games, rallies, basketball games, bonding events, and road trips you can choose to go to, but they are all optional, so once you join, you can choose however involved you want to be. What results is a group of people who choose to be very involved in the club, going to all events they can, who become great friends, and a larger group of people who go to less events but still have friends they can rely on in RallyComm. My first semester, I held back with getting involved in the Committee and was afraid to schedule time to go to too many games or events because that meant less time studying or at work. I had some friends in the committee, but I still wanted to have closer connections with everyone. So second semester I started going to everything I could. If there was a game and I didn’t have anything planned for that time, I would go. If I didn’t have anything planned to do during the game, I would volunteer to guard the California banner, get a letter painted on my chest (with a sports bra on) to spell out a word with other students, or my favorite job, wave the Cal flag. It was a great decision. Now, not only do I have a great group of friends within the committee, I have a leadership position within the committee for next year as well. When I am bored, I can always call up one of my friends in the committee and hang out. When I have a problem with school I can’t work out, there is always an older member there who has been through a similar problem and can help me out. When I am stressed and need a break, there is always an event coming up that will help me relax and have fun with friends.
You don’t have to join the UC Rally Committee, but I do recommend you become involved. I can’t tell you how many times I heard that going into college, and yet I didn’t think it was as important as everyone said. When I got rejected from clubs I had applied to, I just decided not to get involved. I don’t recommend that route. When you don’t know what to join, consider joining a club without an application like RallyComm or a couple other clubs around campus. There is very little connecting the people in the Committee, besides a love for Cal football and a want to hang out and have fun. You can choose to join a club like this one with people from all different majors and hometowns, or maybe one like a professional club where everyone has similar majors and aspirations. But whatever you do, make sure you get involved. I may sleep a little bit less at night this semester since I do my homework after meetings, but I have so much fun doing all of it.