Honors Societies: Possible Waste of Time?

After having been accepted into a university, there are many different ways to enhance your college experience. One of the ways is by joining an honors society. When I was in college, I joined almost all of the honors societies that extended me an invitation.

Did it benefit me in the long run? Was it worth all the application/membership fees? Let me share with you my college experiences relating to honors societies.

Getting Started

Before I ever began college, I applied to be a part of the university honor’s program. Fortunately, I was accepted! I would have to say that this was one of the best opportunities that came my way.

Though there were extra requirements that I had to fulfill on top of the typical major requirements, it was well worth it. The honors students, faculty, and professors that I met made the experience even more worth while. But what exactly is the key ingredient that makes this experience one that is irreplaceable?

The answer is that I was an active participant. Although much of it was forced participation in order for me to complete my requirements, I ended up benefiting greatly from it all.

So I lied, me being in the university honor’s program IS replaceable. Just because you aren’t in an honors program, doesn’t mean that you can get a similar type of experience from another honors society. But what you do have to remember is that in order to benefit from being a part of an honors society or program is that you MUST participate!


I would say, while I was in college, I gained membership into about 5 or 6 different honors societies. I received invitations to a lot more, but I started running low on money to pay for the application/membership fees. Usually joining an honors society is a one time cost ranging anywhere from $50-80. Most of these honors societies will begin sending you an invitation (if you meet their GPA requirements, or are in the top % of your major/school) your junior year.

A smart thing to do before you join is to do some research on the society! Find out what type of opportunities and benefits the society offers to its members, which famous intellectuals are members, what scholarships they offer, and if the society is active on your campus.

Where it went wrong

The worst thing to do is to do what I did. I joined many different organizations for the sole purpose of being able to write it on my resume.

In college, I was an inactive member. It wasn’t until my senior year that I began taking advantage of the many honors societies that I joined. The sad part is that most college students who join these honors societies don’t participate. This results in a waste of money in my opinion. You would say, well, at least you got to put these societies on your resume?

To be honest, I did have them at first on my resume. However once I began applying to jobs, I realized that it was irrelevant and I ended up taking them off. I still got a job anyways, and I believe that I could have gotten one with or without it. Did it really help me after college joining all of these honors societies? No. But the reason why they didn’t help me was because I didn’t participate.

The university honors program helped me, especially in networking believe it or not. Other than that, the other honors societies were utterly useless. So if you know your not going to participate, why even bother?

Take my advice though, if you do join, remember to be active. Run for officer positions! Take charge! This will definitely enhance your college experience.

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