Clubs: to join or not to join?

Reasons to join vary from pursuing interests to making friends

Clubs are a big part of high school life. They allow students to pursue interests, meet new people and make friends.

Of the 85 students polled in a recent survey, 41 percent stated that they joined a club out of personal interest, while 13 percent said they joined clubs because of their friends or to make new friends. 

 “I joined the club because I realized that [in] clubs, you bond with the people there over your shared interests,” club commissioner and sophomore Ethan Mahimainathan said. “So I think that it’s a great tool for new students to create new relationships and [make] new friends.”

Clubs are also a great way to explore specific passions with other people who share the same interests, which students usually can’t find in the classroom. In addition, clubs allow students to apply their skills to practical situations relating to club activities, Mahimainathan said.

“I really wished that I’d joined more clubs [freshman] year, because … in academics, it’s more of the same thing: memorize this, memorize that, learn this [and then] take the test,” Mahimainathan said. “But [with] clubs, you actually get to use the knowledge that you already possess in real-world application.” 

Club participation can also be an indicator of college readiness and can give students who are in a club an edge over those who aren’t involved with clubs, college and career adviser Mary Lund said.

 “Colleges, first and foremost, are going to evaluate you on your grades and test scores, but they are also looking for, more importantly, kids who are going to thrive at college and who are ready to stay in college” Lund said. “They don’t want people coming to college and dropping out. So I think what they see is that if you are involved in your campus at high school, you will be involved at their college campus too.”

Senior Arjun Sampath, who holds a leadership role in several clubs on campus said students students who are on the fence about joining clubs should just join, whether they’re sure or not.

“I’d say just do it because it’s a way of meeting new people and enjoying your high school time,” Sampath said.

Mahimainathan also said there are no true downsides to simply attending a club meeting.

“There’s really no cons to just going to one of their meetings,” Mahimainathan said. “I think just going there, seeing if it’s for you, seeing if it’s not for you … it’s a really good experience to go to one of the meetings. You will not regret it.”