There are three pieces of advice everyone gives you before you leave for college: learn how to do laundry, remember to call/text your mom, to join clubs! Throughout my freshman year, I have successfully turned all my laundry pink, not talked to my parents for a straight two weeks, but the one thing that I have successfully(?) done is joined a good amount of clubs on my campus. From philanthropic, community-service oriented clubs like She’s The First (a club that fundraises for funding girls education in third-world countries.. check it out!) to Greek social organizations, to leadership clubs. From the very first overwhelming club activities fair held the first few weeks of school, I have been exposed to many different organizations and clubs that have done amazing things on Emory’s campus.
Wonderful Wednesday is one of my favorite days of the week, and allows me to look the varied, vibrant club culture that Emory has to offer. From watching acapella and dance concerts or going to a business entrepreneur's dinner, the events the clubs at Emory hold are rich with passion for culture, knowledge and friendship. However, since you have limited time on your hands, how do you know which clubs are the best ones to spend your extremely limited college student time on?? Well, as a seasoned sophomore who now has the responsibility to loudly moan and complain about the presence of freshmen in the coming fall, I have some tidbits of advice to share about choosing the best clubs that are worth your time.
1. Find what interests you
College is the best place to explore and learn things that you may not have had in high school. Let’s all admit it, we all were on student government in high school because we thought it would boost our college applications: college is not the time to do things for the resume. College is that time to join that acapella group that you’ve always wanted to, even if you’re terrified of getting on that stage. College is the time to join that debate team even if you’re scared of public speaking, or that dance team if you’ve always been that one to get it down on the dance floor. Having the chance to explore and learn something (old or new) with a group of people is something that is unique to college and maybe an opportunity that will never be exactly the same as other stages in your life. Everyone’s looking to learn something new!
Some clubs have a higher social sense than others, for example, Greek organizations can be a huge social outlet while some clubs are less socially tight. The social involvement can be one of the most rewarding parts of joining clubs, from going out to meals to hanging out late at night- a club can link you up with people you may have never met from classes or friends. However, it’s often correlated strongly with time commitment: the more time commitment that a club requires, the closer you often get with the other members of the club.
Some clubs require dues, which can be a consideration when joining one. There are multitudes of clubs that don’t require any, however, the clubs that have more events often require varied amounts dues. From just a couple dollars to hundreds, the dues that each club requires again depends on the type of club, the time commitment and the types of events that they hold.
4. Time commitment
Lastly, as a college student, you only have so much time on your hands. Speaking from personal experience, being in a club requires a lot of time commitment, including showing up for events and meetings and being in contact with everyone. While some clubs have a higher time commitment than others, being in a club does require some degree of time. When you’re a college student, overloading your schedule can be a very common thing to do, so figuring out the things you’re the most passionate about and sticking with that is much more rewarding than spreading yourself thin.
Many of my favorite freshman memories are from club-related activities, and I have also met countless people and learned countless things from them. Also, you don’t even need to be on the executive board to gain all the benefits- just be present and committed, and you might find a passion that you may have never know that you have!