College is a time to learn more about yourself and increase your skills in your chosen area of study. It’s also a time to make lifelong friends and set yourself up for a successful future career.
Many colleges and universities form more and more student groups and clubs with each passing year.
So here’s the real question: should you join clubs in college? And if so, how many groups should you join?
Here, we’ll discuss the benefits of joining a club in college. We’ll also talk about the dangers of joining too many clubs and setting yourself up for a packed schedule and eventual burnout.
Joining a student group in college or university is a great facilitator for making social contacts at school.
Some students find it difficult to make friends at college. It can certainly be an intimidating environment, especially if you aren’t naturally a social butterfly.
Clubs are based on common interests, whether they happen to be sports, movies, political activism, comedy, or cooking.
Just ask yourself what you enjoy doing in your free time. There’s probably already a club on campus based around that hobby. If there isn’t, you can be the one to start it.
You’ll quickly find that having just a bit in common with other students will quickly lead to friendships and a sense of belonging.
A Way to Make Professional Connections
You’ll make friends in college clubs, but you’ll also have the chance to make connections that could benefit your career several years down the road.
The modern job market relies rather heavily on having professional contacts within a specific industry. You can potentially build this list of contacts during different jobs after graduation, but why not get ahead of the game?
Let’s say you’re interested in making movies. You’re pursuing a film degree and maybe even working on your own projects during weekends.
These are all great steps, but when it comes to finding a job after school, it definitely helps to know others working in the industry.
Joining a film club at your college will give you the chance to meet others who also want to make movies.
Not all of them may be successful in the working world, but some of them most likely will be.
Years from now, when you’re looking for a job in the entertainment industry, you’ll be able to reach out to your old club friends and ask if they’re aware of any openings.
You may also want to check out our article on how to navigate college career fairs.
A Productive Way to Spend Your Time
Time management can become a major issue for many college students. Between school work, a part-time job, and socializing, free time quickly becomes a precious commodity.
When it comes to adding items to your schedule, joining a weekly club will indeed cut down on your free time, but it’s also one of the most productive ways to spend your time.
As we’ve already mentioned, participating in a club can have a number of practical and social advantages. But it’s not all work, either.
Attending club meetings and events can be a whole lot of fun. It’s socializing combined with work and even education.
It’s a way to process all the information you’re learning in your classes while also spending time with friends.
We should also mention that not every club requires attendance for every meeting or event. But if all goes well, you’ll be happy to show up.
A Source of Encouragement
There are certain fields of study that inherently encourage isolation. Engineering, for example, requires plenty of time spent alone, studying and working through projects.
Study and practice are absolutely essential to learning any craft, but spending too much of your time in college alone can have negative effects on your social life and your general sense of wellbeing.
And if you happen to run into problems in your work, it can be difficult to know who you can reach out to for help.
This is just another situation where having a club to fall back on is incredibly helpful.
If you participate in an engineering club, you’ll have access to a wealth of knowledge and resources. Older students may be able to better explain certain concepts.
At the very least, your fellow club members can be a source of encouragement, reminding you that you’re more than capable of tackling even the toughest problems and obstacles.
When working alone, you have to find that same encouragement in yourself. It’s not impossible, just very difficult.
Don’t be afraid to seek help. Join a club and ask others for assistance.
A Way to Hone Your Craft
No one accomplishes anything alone. It’s a lesson that each of us has had to learn time and time again.
Life is better with friends and collaborators, and this rings especially true in the areas of academics and the arts.
It’s certainly possible to study on your own and even try to complete projects on your own, but working with others or even just discussing your work with friends can help bring fresh perspectives to the table.
Instead of worrying that you haven’t achieved satisfying results, ask your fellow club members for their opinions.
Some clubs may even set aside time for workshopping the ideas its members present to the group.
Getting feedback on your ideas and considering different approaches are crucial steps that can help you transform your work from good to great.
Side Note: How Many Memberships is Too Many?
Certain people may have the urge to join many different campus groups. For one, they may have many different interests and want to explore all of them.
There are also those who want to be able to talk about their many club memberships in their resume or on graduate school applications.
This impulse isn’t inherently negative or misguided, but it does have the potential to cause a sense of burnout and unnecessary stress.
There’s an even greater risk of these negative effects if someone holds positions of responsibility with many different groups and clubs.
To prevent this from happening, try to limit yourself to three or four clubs. If you notice that clubs are cutting into your schoolwork, then it may be time to step back from one or more.