Student Perspective: Honor join or not

Assailing you from every side with emails and fancy newsletters, wanting your involvement and money, time and service - behold the flattering "honor society"! But what is the advantage to joining an honor society while in school?

Definition: An honor society is a rank organization that recognizes excellence amongst peers.

As a vice president to an honor society and a member of several other campus and national societies, I would like to present some pros and cons to honor societies in reference to your future career.

  1. Scholarships: Many societies offer scholastic money for superior membership or academic achievement.
  2. Recognition: Standing out amongst peers is an honor.
  3. Connections: Members of honor societies who stand out on campus will most likely stand out in society post-graduation. The alumni of honor societies can be resourceful in finding work or common interests.
  4. Involvement: If you are not already involved enough, many societies have philanthropy events and social hours to meet members and serve the university or community
  5. Perks: National Convention, resume building, hear influential speakers, free food, leadership seminars, conferences, etc.
  1. Count the Cost: Some honor societies will receive your dues and the only return you see is a gold pin and piece of paper for congratulations. Be a part of something for more than just another group to put on Facebook or your resume
  2. All-inclusive: Honor societies should not discriminate amongst qualified applicants, however some societies lose prestige when they invite everyone to apply.
  3. Over-applying: If your GPA is good, beware of the flattering and persistent emails for your membership. Each society boasts it is worthy of your attention, however sometimes you can over-apply and spend more money and time than intended.
  4. Social Society: Is the honor society more like a social club, where officers are letting in their friends? Societies should have adult advisors and a fair process of induction.
I recommend applying for at least:
  • 1 campus-recognized society
  • 1 major-specific society
  • 1 national society
Make sure that they reflect your ideals because you represent them just as much as they represent you! Visit this website for a comprehensive overview of secondary, collegiate, post-graduate societies and more. Check out this article about choosing honor societies.

Margaret Kloess '10

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