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Sep 17 2015
by Julie Wong

A Guide to Choosing a Second Family: Clubs

By Julie Wong - Sep 17 2015
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In addition to getting accustomed to the classes, social life, and independent ways of college, the pressure to find new activities and clubs can be overwhelming. Following are some tips to help keep in mind when attempting to find that “second family.”

1. Discovering Clubs

There are many ways to discover clubs that interest you, but these are just some of the most popular methods that students have found useful.

Club Rush

The easiest way to explore all the different types of organizations that your school offers is to attend club rush, where hundreds of tables are set up with piles of flyers ready to be handed out and staffed with eager students enthusiastic to explain what their club is all about. Make sure to leave time to explore every table that interests you, whether it be an old hobby or a new curiosity.

Social Media/College Website

Events published on social media are often successful in garnering student attention. Social media is a good resource to use to find out about club info-sessions and important dates, as well as to see who will be attending. Your college’s website also may have a page dedicated to student organizations. You can check this resource out to get a brief overview of certain clubs and see how many amazing opportunities to get involved actually exist.

Flyers

Gather flyers handed out by clubs or simply browse bulletin boards put up around campus to see if anything catches your attention. Try to mark down dates for info-sessions on your calendar or planner to ensure that meetings do not overlap.

2. Narrowing Down Clubs

Many types of clubs exist, ranging from professional to athletic to service. However, it is important to avoid spreading yourself too thin. In the first week, you may feel overwhelmed as you skip from infosession to infosession, trying to explore your interests. Eventually, you will settle on several that you are truly passionate about, and things will finally slow down to form a more concrete schedule.

Attend Infosessions

Make sure to attend first meetings to get a feel of the club’s atmosphere and passions to see if it would be a good fit for you. Don’t be afraid to try something new, or go alone to the meetings. You may end up introducing yourself to someone sitting next to you who becomes a long-lasting friend.

Evaluate Your Interests/Personality

Ask yourself, “Is this what I will look forward going to every week for an entire semester or quarter?” If the club you’re trying to join isn’t something you’re passionate about, don’t waste your time committing to something you dislike. There are many ways to gain experience, make friends and network outside of well-known or prestigious clubs. Feel free to diversify. Simply find your niche and you really may be able to find that second family.

Applications/Interviews

Keep in mind that some clubs, especially professional ones, require applications or interviews. Be willing to put time into these formal processes if you truly want to join the club. Even if you don’t get in on the first try, keep an open mind! Try again next semester, or find a different club that interests you.

3. Miscellaneous Tips

Once you’ve settled down and committed to several clubs, make sure you’re not overwhelmed in your schedule. Consider the time commitment you will have to make. If you find yourself regularly sleep-deprived, tired and stressed, consider lightening the load and letting go of certain extracurricular responsibilities. It won’t kill you to not have ten different activities to put on a resume, because your health always comes first. 

Most of all, take the time to explore your passions, gain experience and new skills and meet amazing people. Clubs can provide a close-knit environment that lecture halls filled with hundreds of people can never quite replicate. I wish you the best of luck!  

Image Credit: caldems

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Julie Wong - University of California, Berkeley

My name is Julie Wong and I am a freshmen at UC Berkeley intending to major in Business Adminstration. I'm hoping to pursue a career in the creative industry, whether that be in art, technology, or UI/UX design. In the meantime, I enjoy drawing, reading in bookstores, a hot cup of tea, and night adventures with good company.

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