Students who have attended any type of college orientation event or information session have probably heard the marketing of different on-campus clubs and why everyone should join one. While students may get tired of hearing this advice, I have a first-hand account of why orientation leaders are right! Here are six reasons to join a club at Plymouth State.
It is a Great Way Make Friends
Undoubtedly, you’ve heard this before, and there’s a reason: it’s true. Although, I will be honest, when I joined my first club as a first-year student, I felt like an outsider. It seemed like everyone else knew each other and how the meetings were run. I had no clue what was going on. However, I stuck with it and after a few weeks, I got to know everyone through meetings and club events. I am so glad I did and I encourage anyone who is feeling apprehensive about clubs to do the same. In fact, two friends I met through clubs are going to be my roommates next year. While it may take time to get to know people and get comfortable with how the club works, eventually you will be an expert and may find some lifelong friends.
The Opportunities Clubs Present
Being a member of a club can bring opportunities that you may never have known about had you not joined. This is especially true for academic and professional development clubs. One huge advantage is that weekly meetings allow you to get to know a faculty advisor. This advisor can help you discover a career path and look for field-specific internships, and he or she will be there for you to guide your college career. When an internship, conference, or other opportunity comes up in your club’s field, members will be the first to know.
Club Trips Are One-of-a-Kind Experience
While the pandemic means no big trips for a while, organized excursions are a great resource PSU offers and many of them are through clubs. Whether it be a cookout 20 minutes away at PSU’s Loon Lake Cabin with the Geography Club, a trip to Montreal with the French Club, a voyage all the way to Central America with the Nicaragua Club, or other trips headed by clubs, these are a great way to bond with your classmates, create lifelong memories, and travel inexpensively. Join a club now so that when traveling is safe next year, you will already be a member and be ready to go!
Club Events Are a Great Time
Going somewhere else with a club is a great experience, but much of the fun can happen through events in Plymouth, and now on Zoom. Students can help set up Earth Jam with Common Ground, be involved in the Rail Jam with MAPS, or join PACS to set up events all throughout the year. While many of these are currently on hold, Zoom’s silver lining is the ease of collaboration and connection between groups. For example, the PSU French Club held a joint meeting with the UNH French club, all without leaving the comfort of our homes. A club offers opportunities like this that you can’t get anywhere else.
Clubs Keep You Busy
When I first came to college, I was amazed at the amount of free time I had. In high school, between classes, extracurriculars, meals, and homework, I had full days and barely any leisure time. This is quite the opposite in college. While there is lots of studying, there is inevitably downtime as well. You may be in class for only a few hours each day, and in some cases, you may be done by 1:00 or 2:00. Clubs, which often meet in the weekday evening hours, are a perfect way to fill this time.
Clubs Build Your Résumé
While I hope this is not the main reason for motivating you to join a club, one positive byproduct is that being a member of a club or two will bolster your résumé. As I’m sure you’ve been told before at college orientation events, employers like to see active and engaged students. An executive board position such as treasurer, vice president, or president of a club also looks great. If all the fun of clubs is not enough to convince you, think of that edge you will gain when looking for your first job.
So, now that you are eager to join a club, head to PSU’s website to check out the comprehensive list of all of the organizations on campus. I am sure you will find something that interests you. To become a member, select the organization you like and click join. Alternatively, you could reach out to a club’s social media page or ask the Office of Student Life for assistance getting in touch with a club president. Between the excitement, they bring to campus and the professional advantage they give to members, clubs are an excellent opportunity every student should take advantage of.
Reed Silvers ‘23 is an Environmental Planning major with minors in Expository Writing and Political Science from Portland, ME. Reed is the treasurer of the PSU Geography Club, a writer for The Clock, and a member of the French Club. When he’s not in class or at a club meeting, you can find him giving a tour of campus to a prospective family, playing frisbee on the Mary Lyon Lawn, or enjoying the White Mountains.