I went from feeling isolated to enjoying college. How? Clubs!
We all have our reasons for joining clubs. For me, I wanted to develop my skills and have friends. For others, it could be boredom or wanting to improve the college experience. Whatever the reason, there is a club for you.
Now, how to find these magical clubs?
1. Know what you want to gain by joining a club
There are over 300 clubs at my college. Choosing which clubs to join when there are so many is a daunting task. Thankfully, we tend to join clubs for a reason. For me, I wanted to learn new skills, connect with other students, and make an impact. All of this means have a criteria. Joining any random club isn’t the best choice. You only have so much time and energy so make it count.
2. Know Yourself
If you want to be an active member of a club, you’ll have to commit. Find out how much you’re willing to give and add that to your criteria. As of the time of me writing this, I hold 3 leadership positions in one of my clubs. This meant I was on campus a lot during the summer. I also have days when I’m up late not because I have to finish my homework but because I’m working on club stuff. I like what I do, and I can keep up most of the time.
Sometimes, there is a certain amount of hours you have to do to stay in a club. For one of my clubs, Healthy Rebels, we have to spend 8 hours outside of meetings participating in the club. When there are no time requirements, you have to look at your schedule and decide how active you’re willing to be.
3. Perform a reality check
Yay! This is one of the best parts: researching your club. The worst part about joining a club is spending the time to go, only to find out that all the members do is sit in a corner and stare at a wall.
1. Go to one of the club’s events and talk to some of the club’s members while you are there. The downside is you will feel pressured to join, so this isn’t my favorite method. If you cave into pressure easily or just don’t want to feel stressed. The next steps are for you!
2. Look at the social media accounts and sign-up for the newsletter. This doesn’t always work because some clubs don’t keep up with their social media accounts and newsletter. If their social media account is relatively up to date (at least one post from the last 6 months), then observe the different events the club has and if it will interest you. Plus, you can get a glimpse of the vibe by doing this.
If your potential club has an updated website, then you hit the jackpot. You can look at some of their past events and accomplishments. Also, you will know if you will have to pay any fee down the line.
3. Contact a club member. You see a club. It seems to check all the boxes. You’re about to hit the join button when it hits you. Even though you’ve been doing some research on this club, you still have no idea when they meet or the time commitment involved. Ask! People want you to join their club and most of the time they will find some way to meet/stay in contact with you. Here are some ways to learn more from the source:
-Email the club
-Call the main contact person
-Try to schedule a 1-on-1 meeting
-Send a DM to them on any of their social media accounts
4. Review, Decide, and Follow Through
Now that you have some information about your potential club outside of the usual promotion talk, see if it still aligns with your purpose.
Make your decision and follow through. I will spare us all the trouble and won’t count the number of times I let an opportunity slip because I didn’t take action.
Don’t let that happen to you. If the club fits your criteria and your feeling good vibes, drop your excuses and join! The worst that happens is the club isn’t for you, and you have to bow out.
I recommend going to at least 3 meetings if you are on the fence about fully committing to the club. It’s hard to get a good feel for the club depending in the first meeting because you don’t know anybody and you might be feeling nervous. When I first joined one of my clubs, Student Sustainability Council, I thought about leaving a couple of times. Thoughts of me just chilling or getting school work done instead of going to meetings were tempting. I’m so glad I stuck it out because I have grown so much from joining my club.
What do you think makes a great club?