Staff Editorial: Join a club; what do you have to lose?

It’s a new school year, which means it’s the perfect time to explore the endless opportunities to get involved on campus. With the Fall Activities Fair coming up tomorrow – Friday, Sept. 6– joining a club is a great way to explore your passions and curiosities, find a strong community and just have fun.

In high school, students often hear a lot about the importance of extracurriculars as a way to beef up the activities section of the Common Application. The beautiful thing about college is that it offers a chance to join things simply because you want to. If something sounds interesting, try it! It’s always worth getting on the email list and attending a meeting or two. If you decide it’s not for you, there’s no shame in quitting. But you may just find something you never knew you’d enjoy.

Regardless of what year you are, the beginning of the semester can feel incredibly overwhelming. Joining a club provides you with an instant community of people with common interests, which can be a vital source of support throughout your college career.

Whether they’re related to a longtime interest of yours or something you’ve never thought of trying, clubs allow you to learn not only about the subject they’re focused on but also about how to collaborate with others. Most clubs involve members working toward a common goal, even if that objective is just to have a good time together. That experience can teach you a great deal about yourself and the kinds of environments that are best for you. You find out the kinds of spaces and activities you like as well as those that don’t work for you.

In addition to being a great experience for freshmen, trying a new activity can be a way for returning students to keep things feeling fresh. If you’re feeling burnt out or in a slump and want to change things up, joining a new club will allow you to meet more people and explore different interests.

Still, it’s important to remember that no matter how many clubs’ email lists you sign up for tomorrow, you’re never bound to them. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and your extracurriculars start to become more of a burden than a source of enjoyment, it’s okay to drop them. Your overall well-being and academics come first. Although being involved in a variety of things can be valuable, you should never hesitate to pull back when you feel you’re spreading yourself too thin.

As you begin exploring your extracurricular options, the Washington University Student Group Organizer (WUGO) site is a helpful resource to learn more about each group. There is a place for you somewhere. And if you can’t find the club for you, make it.

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