Ten Reasons to Join a College Team or Club
The purpose of college may be education, but don’t let a busy schedule or coursework keep you from joining a team or club. Some clubs only require a small time commitment and the benefits can make it well worth your time.
1. They're fun
This may seem like an obvious one, but it’s important to have a balance between academics and a social life. Clubs and teams can help strike such a balance by forcing you to schedule time not to think about classes or homework.
2. You could meet your best friends
When you play a sport or join a club you inevitably meet people. Whether you turn these acquaintances into friends is up to you (and them) but at least there’s a common interest to build upon.
3. Keep off the freshman 15 (or sophomore 16 or junior . . . well you get the idea)
Even if a varsity sport isn’t for you, find out if your school has club or intramural teams. Whether you opt for a full contact sport like rugby or a less exerting sport like ping pong, at least it will get you moving more (probably near a gym). Who knows, maybe you’ll start stopping by to lift some weights after a badminton match?
4. Graduate School Applications
This one might not apply to everyone, but joining a club that directly relates to something you’d like to study in grad school or shows your leadership abilities can be a big help on those applications. At the very least it might make you unique from other applicants who didn’t participate.
5. Activities to write home about
Maybe you’re the perfect law-abiding, no mistake making, college student. But if you’re not, clubs and teams give you something to tell your parents about so they don’t think you spend your free time eating ramen or climbing onto dorm roofs (even if you do). They might even want to visit your campus to see a match (if you go the sport route) which means they can hand you that extra cash you need in person.
6. Free stuff
A lot of college clubs get money from the school to spend on activities and a lot of the time that means buying food to attract new members in the beginning of the year. So if you hear about a club that you might be interested in and they’re having pizza or ice cream at their meeting, go check them out. In addition your schools student activity board plans activities for the whole school and probably buys things to attract students, meaning you get first dibs on those t-shirts.
7. Make a difference
Besides free t-shirts, the student activity board usually meets regularly to come up with ideas for concerts, speakers, performers, etc. If you go every week you can make some of your ideas reality and vote on others ideas too. In addition to campus activities, there are probably clubs for environmental issues, politics, social issues, or whatever else you might be concerned about. So go make your voice heard in one of these clubs.
8. Hone your leadership and other skills
Clubs and teams always have leadership opportunities whether as the editor of your school paper or the captain of your ultimate Frisbee team. Clubs and teams let you demonstrate your leadership capabilities while practicing other practical skills like writing or coordination that can aid you in the workforce.
9. Procrastination Repellent
While the very best procrastinators will still find ways to put off that essay until the night before, clubs and teams can force you to stay on schedule with your school work. When you have a busy schedule it forces you to better utilize the free time you do have to get work done. You might find that without that club or team you have too much free time and spend it all on facebook or stumbling through the internet.
10. They’re for you!
Clubs and teams are created for students, often times by students. Most are free to join and, depending on the size of your school, there is probably more than one that is filled with people who are interested in something that you yourself love or have wondered about. So don’t worry about being brainwashed by “the man” or having to miss a meeting because of a bio test, these are your peers and fellow students organizing together to do stuff they like. Stuff you might like too.