For most, college requires a greater amount of coursework than high school, which means less free time and more stress.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the reading, essays, lab work, etc., and to feel that you have little time for the sort of extracurriculars you used to pursue in high school.
However, if you can make the time, even for just one club or group, the out-of-classroom activity can be a good way to de-stress and is valuable in the college experience. Remember, while your courses are important, ensuring you gain other experiences in college is vital, too.
Below is list of tips for finding, joining, and starting a club:
1. Visit your school’s club fair.
You can browse tables, ask representatives what exactly their club’s purpose is, and add your name to e-mail lists. There also tends to be a lot of free stuff. Candy, generic flying disks, etc.
2. Start with a lot and then narrow down.
It’s ok to sign up for a club or attend a few meetings without fully committing yourself. Most club leaders do not expect the entire e-mail list or all of those in attendance at the first meeting to continue to actively participate throughout the year.
That being said, it’s a good idea to try a lot of different clubs and narrow down your priorities to a couple favorites later.
Becoming seriously involved in just one or two clubs will prevent you from spreading yourself too thin.
3. Try weird things.
It can be good to try something new!
This semester, I am taking an ExCo (Experimental College class taught by fellow students) in swing dancing. Dancing is not something that comes naturally to me, but I am having a lot of fun with this class.
Don’t let your inhibitions hold you back from trying something new. You don’t need to be good at something to enjoy it.
4. You can start a club, too.
If you’re interested in an activity for which there is no group, starting a club is almost always an option.
Your school’s website will most likely provide information on starting a club under its “Student Life” section. If not, asking your RA, academic advisor, student advisor, or the equivalent is a good place to start.
5. You don’t necessarily need to join clubs to be involved.
Be aware of upcoming events via social media, bulletin boards and your school’s online calendar.
You don’t need to join a club in order to enjoy its public events. And, attending a variety of events hosted by clubs or groups is a good way of deciding which club you might be interested in investing your time and energy in.