[The following is the third of a five-part series I’m calling “The Top 5 Things You MUST Do In College.” Everyone’s already heard about buying flip-flops for the shower, stocking up on veggies to avoid the Freshman 15, and to steer clear of mojitos before midterms, but there are other tips for enjoying college that the experts might have neglected to tell you about.
This series is meant to provide advice for getting the most out of college, rather than just getting through it. So far we’ve already discussed having a professor as a BFF, checking out what’s going on in your college town, and now we’re going to talk about extracurriculars – the ones you never thought you’d join!]
This generation of college gals are smart, savvy, and driven. Do you want to be a CEO of your own company one day? You’re probably already president of your college’s Business Leaders of Tomorrow club. Are you an up-and-coming style maven? No doubt you’re involved with your school’s Passion for Fashion group.
Yeah, being involved in career-minded clubs are definitely a must these days if you want to make connections, but what about joining a club…just for fun? It may seem difficult, especially when it’s so hard to manage school, friends, guys, a job, and elusive “me” time. However, if you take the plunge and join a club you never thought you would, a lot of things could happen.
First of all, joining a club for fun might lead you onto a completely different career path. Not that everything you do in college has to be future-oriented, but there are plenty of roads to success that don’t follow a “traditional” educational route. Have you seen Tina Fey’s awesome impersonations of Sarah Palin on SNL lately? She didn’t get a degree in Hilarity Studies to snag that gig. If you’re the “funny one” of your group of friends, or just a big comedy fan, why not stop in on a meeting of your campus’ improv group? You may discover you’re just as good at scoring laughs as Ms. Fey.
By the same token, f you’re always the one busting a move at mixers, or glue yourself to the couch whenever So You Think You Can Dance comes on, look into joining the dance troupe. And if you were always good at Spanish in high school but chose to devote your undergrad years to chem labs, maybe drop in on Foreign Language Club meetings to rediscover an old passion.
Furthermore, joining a new club will get you out of your dorm and into a new social circle. Sure, we all have our core group of friends, but do you ever feel like you’re doing the same old things all the time? If you’re looking for excitement, joining a new club just might jumpstart your social life. Most clubs will not only meet on campus but host or sponsor events in the community. Poetry or literary clubs will often hold open mics throughout the year–something to look into if you’re an inner poet or rapper who wants some exposure. Cultural clubs like Hillel or the Asian Student Union will certainly throw parties on holidays like Rosh Hashanah and Chinese New Year (plus, who doesn’t love free food?). And the pals you make from joining a new club can connect you to other fun things going on around campus you may never have heard about.
And joining a club for fun means there’s no “political” pressure to run for treasurer or president just so it looks good on your resume. You can attend meetings when you like, socialize with who you like, and get involved at your own leisure. Best of all, college is a time when you have an enormous amount of opportunities to try new things at very little cost and without expectations of following up. If you want to take a dance class after graduation it’ll cost you at least $15 a pop. So what do you have to lose? Get out there and break a leg!
[Come back to find out the next must-do on my list: Live With Strangers!]