5 Ways to Kick Off a New Semester

All you have to do is blink, and just like that – the #SummerofDECA is coming to an end.

For most of us, including me, that means summer jobs or internships ending, saying goodbye to friends from home, and packing up and heading back to college.

While it’s always a bummer to say goodbye to summer, the good new is that it means DECA is right around the corner!

Here are a few tips to get your DECA chapter up and running after a long break:

1. Go do an activity!

When all of your officers or chapter members return to campus, plan to go on an exciting paintballing trip, or go volunteer somewhere in your community. Just find something where everyone can go out and have fun with each other. Getting to know what everyone did during their summer break is a great way to bring your chapter back together, and get everyone excited for the upcoming year!

2. Do not do another dinner….just yet.

Now why do I say this? Let’s be real – planned dinners can be somewhat boring. That is why for the first time everyone is with each other, find something that is a little more interactive. Why not host a pizza making party and see who can whip up the most delicious and crazy pizza creation? Or keep the summer fun going by having a bonfire and roasting s'mores together. Don’t just eat together – do something while eating today!

At the University of Arizona once, my chapter went to a wing place for a chapter dinner, and I was dared to eat the habanera hot wings (not advised) and let’s just say I cried on the way home. While you don’t necessarily need to make your chapter members cry, do try to find a way to make an ordinary meal more fun and memorable.

3. Plan, plan and plan.

Yes, three times. You should put together a great schedule and list of goals you wish for your group to accomplish in the upcoming year. Whether that means planning your first community service event (mine is playing with puppies) or scheduling when all of your workshops will be, it is a good idea to have something like this in place now, so you know that your teams on track down the road. It also makes you seem organized, because we all know once classes start, you’ll start to feel scattered-brained before you know it!

4. Recruit some fresh meat!

As we all know a new year means one thing: new freshman! We always want to continue to grow Collegiate DECA and this is one of the easiest ways to do that. Many incoming freshmen have done DECA in high school, so it’s important to share with them how Collegiate DECA is similar to the high school division, but includes so many new experience for them. And if a student hasn’t even heard of DECA before, an easy sell is to brag on how much traveling Collegiate DECA members get to do! The best place to find new freshman are at the club fairs during the beginning of the semester, so make sure to get a booth at one of those!

5. Have FUN!

This is one of the most important tips. If you do not have fun with your chapter, then the other tips don’t work at all. Your first hangout will be boring, nobody will talk at dinner, you won’t get any planning done, and new members won’t join – how scary is that?! I know it stinks that summer is over, but Collegiate DECA should truly be a fun and uplifting experience. Make the most of the time you have with DECA, and always have a smile on your face. I promise you if you’re having fun during all of your events, the rest will fall into place seamlessly.

I know summer is coming to an end, but don’t be sad. A new year of Collegiate DECA is coming and I hope these tips help everyone get excited for the upcoming year!

Let’s buckle in for a great year and get ready to #OwnYourFuture!

Follow Cameron on Twitter @decavpcam

Categories: Chapter Development, Chapter Resources, Chapter Resources (Home Page Teaser), Leadership, Membership + Recruitment