By: Steele Parkerson
It's October. School has started. You're slowly becoming a Google Classroom pro. Now, clubs and after-school activities are constantly flooding your email or Facebook feed. You're finally settling in, and you find yourself wondering which clubs are best to join. Are you excited to see that little red circle next to your email grow by the hour? If you’re thinking of joining a lot of clubs, understanding the benefits and drawbacks of that decision will help you make the best choice for you. Still, there is no rule for how many clubs are “too many.” In general, try to think of clubs as adding to your high school experience. Decide how many clubs you’d like to join after looking at your class schedule and other time commitments that take priority over clubs.
Why should you join any clubs at all? Clubs give you a group of people to socialize with who, at the very least, share some common interest with you. Some clubs may help you gain a more realistic understanding of what working as an engineer is like. If you’re considering going to college after high school, clubs are important parts of some college applications and can even help you find scholarships. What really matters, in the long run, is enjoying the exploration of your interests through the clubs you join.
Knowing oneself is a never-ending journey that fluctuates with our emotional, physical, and experimental growth. However, the journey of self-discovery is one of the most rewarding you’ll have, and it’s not as complicated to start finding your interest. You — right now — no matter if you are in middle school, high school, or even college have the chance to explore your interests. Maybe you don’t know what you love or what you're passionate about, but you can certainly find out what you don’t like doing. So, while there is no shortcut in finding your passions and the club that fits your interest, you can broaden your horizons by trying new things. Clubs are ways to test out if you enjoy something. For example, mock trial is a common club for students interested in the legal profession, so trying it might help you better understand what working in that field is like. Still, just because you didn’t like participating in mock trial doesn't mean you will not enjoy working in law later in life; clubs give you new experiences.
This academic year is different; we all understand that. Right now, some things are more important than trying ten clubs to find one or two that you really enjoy. So, if you feel like joining clubs, having an internship, or volunteering are too complicated, that’s fine and normal. You can explore some areas you like through educational YouTube videos, TedTalks, and podcasts all from your living room. But you might not see a group that’s doing the work you’d like to see done. If so, start the club you’d like to be a part of: the club that writes your city and state legislators for policing reforms, the club that actively participates in environmental projects, or the club that delivers groceries to the elderly.