College students juggle classes, homework, and a social life, so finding time to join a club in college can be difficult. But if your schedule permits, enlisting in a club or extracurricular can be extremely beneficial. There are clubs for nearly every major and hobby. Some, like a school newspaper or business club, can be resume boosters. Others, like a bowling or archery club, give you an opportunity to explore a passion and meet people who share that passion with you.
Here are 5 reasons for you to get involved on campus:
1. Help With Decision/Confirmation of Major
Most college majors have corresponding clubs, which allow you to dive into professional-type work without the pressure of a real job. For example, journalism majors can work for the college paper or a plethora of print and online campus magazines. Additionally, joining clubs and organizations in your contemplated job field will give a sneak peek to what your future colleagues will be like.
If you go into college undecided, a trial run of potential majors through clubs associated with those majors is a great way to make up your mind. Clubs often invite professionals to give speeches, which will give you insight to what your career path will truly be like.
Through clubs geared towards your major, you can hear about internship and job opportunities. As a student, you should always be looking for ways to expand your resume and skill set. This gives you a leg up on the competition and makes you more hireable. Skills you learn in your club are often applicable in the job market.
2. New People/Activities
For the introverts, finding a group of friends in college can be difficult. Clubs help you find people with shared interests. This is especially beneficial for incoming freshmen looking to establish a friend group. There are clubs for sports, politics, volunteer work, religion, music, and much more. This makes finding friends who share your small niche of interests very simple.
Recreational sports and music clubs can serve as an enjoyable distraction from a busy college schedule. If you spend too much of your leisure time sitting on a dorm futon, an intramural sports team could be a healthy alternative.
Academic clubs can be great networking tools. They provide a way to interact with peers and professors involved in the club. Some university clubs and student-led organizations host large events or galas and invite big-name professionals. The professionals will give a speech and then offer time for questions. If you are lucky and persistent enough, you may be able to have a personal conversation with the professional, in which case you should work to leave a memorable impression.
3. Personal Development
Whether you join a club in a familiar field, or if you are experiencing something for the very first time, the people you meet and the skills you learn will foster personal growth. If you venture outside of your comfort zone, chances are, you will meet people vastly different than yourself. If you are from a big city, you probably don’t know much about farming. So, join the agriculture club and expand your versatility.
Clubs also allow you to grow as a leader. Entering a club as a freshman and sticking with it throughout college demonstrates commitment. Four years in a club give you time to climb the ranks. You could become a treasurer, event planner, or possibly event president.
Pro Tip: Find a way to textualize your commitment on your resume, or bring it up in a job interview. It shows that you are willing to dedicate time to something you are passionate about and have the tenacity to climb to a leadership position.
4. Boost Skill Set
Academic clubs are geared to prepare you for the job field. While you should enjoy your club, it is important to keep in mind that they won’t always be fun. Clubs and student organizations can put pressure on you to learn new skills, or force you to organize and plan. But, this will only help you in the future.
Remember the events I addressed earlier? Club members are required to arrange those. This can be a serious time commitment, but organizing speeches and events builds your organizational and networking skills.
Additionally, you will learn to work in a team. This is extremely valuable because, in nearly every profession, you will be working closely with your colleagues. You will have to listen, speak up, and digest information and ideas. The teamwork skills you learn in a college club will serve as a foundation for professional growth.
5. Break from Class Work
Recreational clubs give you a moment to take your mind off your studies and allow you to spend time exploring your hobbies. Academic clubs reward you with an opportunity to translate skills and knowledge gained in classes to real-life situations. What is the point of taking a class on reporting if you aren’t going to make what you learned applicable through a school publication?
Clubs can be a serious time commitment, so they aren’t perfect for everyone. But the benefits are immense for those who can afford to dedicate some of their free time to a club or student organization. Clubs are an asset to expand personal growth and experience, and can help boost your resume and prepare you for a professional life after college.
News & Content Manager
Jackson Schroeder is a graduate of Ohio University with a B.A. in Journalism from the E.W. Scripps School. He is originally from Savannah, Georgia. Jackson has covered a wide range of topics, including sustainability, technology, sports, culture, travel, and music. He plays bass and guitar, and enjoys playing and listening to live music in his free time.