College. It is an important time in somebody’s life. This may be the first time someone is out on their own and it could be the start of a path to make something of yourself.
Well, one way to do that is by joining an honor society.
About 500,000 college students join honor societies every year. If you think you meet the academic requirements to join one, you may be wondering if it is worth it.
Here are 13 reasons why you should consider it.
1. Make New Friends
In college, you should take advantage of every opportunity you have to make new friends. This is especially the case if you are in your first year of college.
College can be a very difficult transition period for some students. About 63% of students felt lonely in college over the last 12 months.
How do you fix this? You start by putting yourself out there.
While an academic organization may not be everybody’s cup of tea, this does not have to be the sole focus. If you are on the fence, you can focus on this being an opportunity to meet new people and potentially make new friends.
Let’s say that there is a mixer for an honor society on your campus that you get invited to. You go to it without knowing anybody in advance and you are open to the idea of meeting new people.
Then, you and somebody else may notice that you have t-shirts of the same band. That is something that you both have in common and as a result, you start a conversation. Eventually, this turns into a friendship.
You never know how and where you are going to meet people. Use honor societies to do just that.
2. Academic Recognition
Another benefit to honor societies are that they are an organization that can formally recognize you for your achievements. In this case, it would be academic achievements.
You may be moving through college so fast that you may not even notice how well you are doing academically. Or, you could have a lot of academic pressure be put on you at home and this just passes you by.
Think of honor society invitations as a reward for the hard work that you have put in already. Some honor societies may even have a formal ceremony for new members and give them medals for being there.
If you want a way to show off your personal achievements, this can be a good way to do it.
3. Scholarships and Grants
It is no secret that college can get quite expensive for some students. Sometimes, it is so expensive that these students end up in debt for decades.
What if there was a way to help them with this? Well, there are opportunities for scholarships and grants out there. There are some honor societies that provide scholarships and grants to members that thrive.
So, if you do decide to join an honor society, you are increasing your chances of potentially getting a scholarship or grant to help with your tuition just by signing up. For those that know people who are in a mountain of debt because of student loans, you may want to pay close attention to this.
Some students may be paying up to $40,000 per year in tuition. Get some help with your tuition if the opportunity is there for the taking.
4. Access to Mentors
Another thing that college students may not realize they need is a mentor.
Think about it. You may be going to a few classes and taking courses with information that you are not going to use in the real world. On top of that, you may have a teacher that has lost all of their passion for the job.
In a situation like that, how do you stay motivated for the real world? How do you find your direction?
The answer is that you need a mentor. In an honor society, you have access to certain teachers and professionals that have been in your shoes before. You can have more opportunities to talk to these people and learn from these people.
If those people have been in a familiar position, they can share their story with you and give you some advice on how to take the next step.
A mentor may not be something that you realize you need right away. However, it can end up being one of the most memorable parts of college for you and the experience that helps shape your future.
5. Like-Minded People
We somewhat touched on this before with making friends and finding mentors. However, it should be emphasized that in an honor society, you do have opportunities to meet people that think similarly to you.
An example can be meeting another student that has high achievements academically but was resistant about joining a honor society. That is something that you two can bond over and you can perhaps get a better understanding of the mindset.
Overall, you are likely going to be in a room full of people that are very academically gifted. That can help drive you to start working harder and think bigger when it comes to your future.
Not only that but the teachers and professionals you meet are also likely to have things in common with you. For some people, it can be like seeing themselves in the future.
Since honor societies are large organizations that have connections all over the world, there may be few better networking opportunities than being part of one.
Do you want to find an internship before you graduate college? Maybe your mentor has an old connection to someone working in your ideal industry.
How about getting a job in the real world? The person interviewing you may have been part of the same honor society and now you two have an icebreaker.
Sometimes, it can be as simple as giving yourself an opening. The old saying goes, “it’s not what you do, it is who you know.”
While honor societies may not fully believe in that quote, they may at least try to get the best of both worlds with what you do and who you know.
7. Career Path
In college, it is perfectly normal to have no idea what you want to do with the rest of your life. You may have been one of those students that entered college with an undeclared major.
If you are in someone in that situation, joining an honor society may be exactly what you need.
This relates to having mentors and being able to network. The mentors may tell you that they had no idea what they wanted to do when they were your age and then explain how they found themselves doing what they do today.
Then, the networking opportunities that you get with an honor society may help you realize that you are more open to a certain field if the right opportunity is there for the taking.
In other words, honor societies can help provide clarity for you in this area. They can also set the stage for your career path.
8. Stronger Resume
At your age, you may have heard adults tell you that certain things look good on a resume. You may have even participated in an extracurricular activity or joined a student organization just for that purpose.
Well, honor societies can help strengthen your future resume.
For starters, it can tell an employer that you work hard. Considering that you have to have a certain GPA to join most honor societies, it can also tell them that you have above-average academic intelligence.
These can both be good traits for a lot of entry level jobs that employers may be looking to fill. On top of that, they may see some potential growth with you because of your achievements at a young age.
9. Keep up Academic Goals
Most of you are probably aware that most honor societies require a certain GPA to get invited to their organization. This can be anything from a 3.0 GPA to a 3.5 GPA and beyond.
What this means is that the job is not over once a student is eligible to join a honor society. They will likely have to keep up that academic performance to remain eligible for it. This is especially the case for those students that got academic scholarships as a result of this.
So, students should have a little extra motivation to keep their grades up from here on out in college. If they fail to do so, they could lose the perks of the honor society and potentially lose out on tens of thousands of dollars.
10. International Exposure
As a college student, it is not very likely that you have traveled abroad. Well, what if you suddenly had the opportunity to do so?
As stated before, a lot of honor societies have international connections. Part of this is sometimes a study abroad program.
That means that you could become a foreign exchange student and spend a semester or two overseas. So, if your honor society has a chapter in the UK before, they could get you on the path to being able to spend a semester in that country.
However, this does not have to be limited to foreign exchange student opportunities. Depending on your industry, there may even be job opportunities overseas that you can take advantage of in the future.
11. More Life Balance
Are you someone that does not know how to spend their free time in college? Are you looking for a little more direction in life?
Well, honor societies can help you achieve both of these things. It gives you an excuse to get out of your dorm room a little more often to go to meetings and activities hosted by the honor society.
At the same time, it could give you a social life by being a part of something while not falling behind on your studies. In other words, a honor society can help make you a more well-rounded person.
12. New Ideas
When you run into a certain group of people, they are bound to have a unique ideology. Well, joining an honor society gives you an opportunity to see if that is the case there.
Think about it. Most of the people in this organization do pretty well academically.
That may mean that they are starting to think bigger about their futures. If you run into someone like this, they may throw an idea out there that you never thought of. Something like that could end up helping you in the long run.
13. Community Service
Finally, honor societies tend to believe in the idea of giving back to their community. They may do community service such as cleaning up an area full of garbage, running a blood donation campaign, a charity 5K, starting a recycling program on campus, and more.
This can be your excuse to give something back to your community.
Join an Honor Society
These are some of the biggest reasons why you should consider joining an honor society. You may be on the fence and could be getting pushed into this by your family or your peers.
However, this does not have to be a bad thing. You could end up discovering what you want to do for a career while making the right connections to get started. This can help you with academic development, professional development, and more.
For more related content, check out our Education section.