The Myth of Joining Clubs

Oh, clubs. What awesome and equally not that awesome programs we have at my public high school.

Clubs are really awesome because they are an opportunity to find other people in your school that have the same interests as you, or a place to try a new activity. Where else would I have learned to debate if I didn’t decide to join the Speech and Debate Team/Club? They are really awesome for experimenting with what you like and don’t like and beginning to develop a sense of who you are and what you like to do.

Now, I also don’t like clubs, and this isn’t because I don’t like what they stand for. I do not like clubs because people seem to think that in order to get into college, they need to be a member of fifty random clubs and President of twenty-five of them. Sorry, but no. Joining a gazillion clubs is definitely not a free pass to college, and it actually could hurt you.

You may have heard people say this to you over and over, but colleges want you to have a passion. By this, it means that colleges want to see that you have explored your interests in high school, and have found something to really grab a hold of and take to the next level.

I was like you at one point; I definitely thought that being a member of every “intellectual” club on campus was going to show my future college that I was a smart person and that I liked intellectual things. I tried to join a lot of clubs on my campus, but I had to learn the hard way that it was really a bad idea.

Why was it a bad idea? Well, let’s take the fact that I tried to join the Robotics and Red Cross Clubs.  I am not in any way interested in designing Robots, and blood freaks me out. Although they were both great organizations that are great experiences for their members, they weren’t the clubs for me. There were plenty of other clubs on campus that suited me and who I was much more.

Let’s also look at the idea of overloading on clubs. Sure, the idea of being in every club that sounds interesting is nice, but when you’re actually attending seven different club meetings per week, plus having to take all of your classes and sleep and do your other activities, it gets to be too much on you, and can drag you down.

What you should really do is find a couple of clubs that you really do enjoy, and take what they stand for to the next level. My passion, for example, resides in leadership and solving issues. Because I really really love leading others, I became the President of my school.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, you’re saying to yourself right now, like every person is actually going to become President of the school.

No, of course not, but what I am saying is that you should find a way to take your passion to the next level. Are you passionate about the environment? Take the initiative to start a community campaign to keep the beaches clean. Do you love writing? Write a book! Do you see a problem in the world that you know needs to be fixed? Try to fix it! Take it beyond your high school club and into the world around you.

By doing this, not only will colleges get to see the real you and what you really stand for on your application, but you will benefit knowing that you have done something incredibly meaningful with your life.


Have more questions on extracurricular activities? Don’t hesitate to send your question to teagan@collegeadmissionsdreams.com.