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As a first year college student, there are many decisions I have to make. What classes to take, how to spend my time and money wisely, where to buy my books for the best price, here are a few tips in choosing the right clubs.

Joining clubs in college is a lot like joining them in high school. There a few days dedicated to showcasing what clubs are available on campus where club officers scream in your face and try to encourage you to check out their booths, and then you sign your name, phone number, and email on a long list people. But looking throughout the seemingly endless line of tables and clamouring people, it leads me to wonder: Just which club should I join?

I’m pretty sure my fellow freshmen out there have had these thoughts as well. But each person is different so what clubs you join is usually based on what matters to or interests you; however, ultimately, club choices end up being based on these main things:

1. Time.

All clubs have set times for their general meetings, and sometimes those times can conflict with your classes. But just because you can’t attend meetings doesn’t mean you should forget about joining the club. You can still be updated about what’s happening in the club through emails and friends, and many clubs do events on different days and times that you may be available for. But do also keep in mind of your time management skills! If you’re unable to juggle going to club events and schoolwork, you may just have to give up on the club. So do make sure not to overload yourself with too many extracurricular activities.

2. Money.

You also have to remember that oftentimes, these clubs cost money. Joining nationwide clubs usually means that you have to pay a membership fee, and sometimes these fees can be pretty high but not breaking-open-the-bank-high. But if you can’t afford to join the club, it’s okay to not join; although sometimes it’s worth investing the money into a club that can be very beneficial to you later. Being a part of nationally recognized clubs can help you out in getting jobs or college acceptances when you fill them out on your resume or college applications. Employers and admissions people love to see extracurricular activities. It means you like to be involved and, if you stay in the club long enough, dedicated to a cause. Some of these nationwide organizations even give out scholarships or other types of benefits to college students.

3. Atmosphere.

Choose clubs you think best fit your personality and are full of people you get along with because clubs are built on not only what they do but who is in it. If you feel uncomfortable and or isolated from the rest of the club members, perhaps this isn’t the club for you. When joining a club, you always want to feel welcomed and like you belong. And it helps to be in a club in which their cause is something you’re passionate about because then you’ll be surrounded by people with the same interest and passion, which makes for better friends and, overall, a better club atmosphere.

And, of course, do not be afraid to try out weird or mysterious clubs you’re not sure about. It doesn’t hurt to attend the first meeting and see what the club is about. Who knows, you may just end up liking it! So be sure to check out as many clubs as possible at your school, because you’ll never know what you’d miss if you don’t try it.

Photo courtesy of zappowbang via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

Are you involved with clubs at your school? Post comments below!