Hello! This is the first post in my series on Tips for the College Freshman. To see more like it, click here!
The college season is fast approaching and amiss all the dorm room shopping, textbook buying (or renting), and counting down the days, every freshman is thinking about one more thing: Club Day.
Club day, the day that every single group from jazz band to Greek life to religious organizations to chess club to indoors soccer will be gathered in a central meeting ground handing out flyers and candy if you promise to scratch your name on the neatly arranged sheet so they can contact you about their club. Heck, on my club day, women’s rugby was even giving out popsicles if you at least wrote you were interested on their excel spreadsheet.
Now, this is not only the one time you can break your mother’s golden rule–don’t take candy from strangers–, but it is also when you get to sign up for as many things as you want, right?
I’m sorry to break it to you, but you will not be able to join every single club you want to join. And by join, I mean commit. As in go to the meetings/events and be an active member with either a leadership position or a great attendance record. You will have to narrow it down and you will have to say no to A LOT of clubs, whether you like it or not.
But, I am here to help you manage not only club day, but narrowing down your choices. With two club days under my belt–one as an attender and one as the person offering candy in exchange for a sign up–I believe I can help you tackle any club if you just remember and apply the following:
- Sign up for the mailing list for every club you are interested in
- In the first few weeks, go to at least one meeting for each of those clubs
- Take note that while most college clubs meet after classes have ended, some meet at awkward times in the middle of the day when you may or may not have class. If a club that you really want to join meets during one of your classes talk with the supervisor to see if they can make you an honorary member till the following semester
- Only pick one club in each area (athletics, spiritual, arts, Greek life, academic, etc.) unless one of the areas involves your major/minor
- Don’t be afraid to unsubscribe to mailing lists. Your future self will thank you for that email you never got from the club lacrosse meeting you went to once.
- Don’t join a club because your friends are joining it
- However, on the same note, if your friends are telling you that you would love the club, try it out!
- Be ‘outgoing’ (as in an active member) in each club–it is an easy way to make friends quickly that you can foster into long-lasting relationships
- Beware that clubs cost time and money. Make sure you can afford both.
- Most students are not involved in more than 3 clubs. Don’t feel pressured to be more or less involved. Do what you feel is best for you and your mental/academic health.
- But join at least one club
- Remember academics come first. If you start struggling in classes because of over involvement in extracurriculars, drop them. You came to school to learn, not to climb the social tower.
- If you are not the kind of person who regularly goes to the gym, join an athletic club for the sake of your health and to force yourself to work out. When you don’t gain the freshman 15 or 20, your body will thank you
- If you have a faith, join a religious club. Many, many, MANY college students loose their faith/become atheist in college. Don’t be that person lollygagging through life because you didn’t actively seek out a religious group on club day.
- Most of all, have fun! If you don’t like a club, drop it. It is as simple as that. Don’t feel as if you are the glue holding the club together. I hate to break it to you, but whatever club you just joined can exist without you. They could before and they can now. You should want to be part of the club because you want to be part of it, not because of any other pressures from society, parents, or your future.
If you have any questions about any of these or if you have general questions about college/clubs, comment below! For the next few weeks I will be offering advice to incoming freshmen so, who knows? Your question or comment might end up in a blog post!