College, no matter how large or small your school is, can be overwhelming. You’re in a new place, surrounded by all new people, and are adjusting to a completely different lifestyle of being on your own. One of the biggest struggles for individuals entering college is making friends and finding their niche. Even if you have a very outgoing and social personality it can still be hard to find the people that you will form genuine friendships with.
Luckily, at every college, extracurricular activities and clubs are abundant. There are clubs for things you most likely didn’t even think of. There will be the typical clubs for sports, politics, music, activism, newspaper, yearbook and different academic concentrations. There will also be clubs unique to every school. Many colleges hold club fairs at the beginning of the academic year. At these fairs all the clubs will be represented. This is a great way for you to see what clubs are available at your school. You will have the opportunity to talk to current club members who can give you insight to the club and answer questions you might have. These in person interactions will give you a much better sense of the clubs than reading about them on a website.
Student organizations are of course not the only way to meet friends, and not everyone utilizes them. You may meet some friends in your dorm, but those who you are assigned to live with might not share your same passions, may it be for ultimate frisbee or government. You may also make some friends in classes, and certainly you will share a common interest in academic interests with those people. However, not every classroom is going to be conducive to being social. Joining a club is going to put you in a social environment with people who you share a common interest with. This is a big reason clubs are a great way to meet friends, they are geared towards social interaction and sharing common interests, which are fundamental aspects of most friendships.
By joining clubs you are giving yourself more opportunities to meet people and in settings that are more likely comfortable for you. You have the ability to try multiple clubs out with very little pressure. This is another great thing about clubs. Unlike your dorm, if the club turns out not to be the right fit it’s pretty easy to leave the club and go try out a new one. Same with classes, there’s less pressure and not as much at stake with dropping a club as opposed to dropping a class. There is no guarantee that just because you are really into environmental activism, those in that club will be your best friends. That’s fine, you may have to explore a couple different clubs to find a good fit. Even if you aren’t the closest of friends with the people in a club right away if you still enjoy the work that you’re doing in the club then you can stick with it if you want. Friendships might develop down the line with newer members and you’ll be getting a rewarding experience doing something you enjoy. However, you can instead decide to dedicate your time to another club. Leaving a club is just as easy a joining, sometimes easier, and has little repercussions.
The most important thing to realize is the clubs at your college are there for you to utilize. They are created most of the time by students and they are there for students. You can be as involved in them as you want. If you want a great way to make friends though, clubs are hard to beat. For the most part everyone else who is involved in clubs is doing it partly to make friends as well. Clubs are supposed to be fun and enjoyable. When you think about how you’ve made a lot of your friends in your past, it was in sharing a common interest or having a fun experience together. So explore the club opportunities at your college, you may find one or two friends in the process or you may find a club that’s the perfect fit for you and a lifelong group of friends.