College clubs allow for great opportunities


Michigan State University

Many schools such as Michigan State have a website for their clubs where you can find any club at your university.

Sydnie Uphoff, Assistant Editor

Going off to college is a daunting time period for every student, especially as one is leaving their friends, family and for many, sports and activities. Students are thrown into a new environment and forced to start over in terms of making friends and building relationships. It can be hard for a lot of people to branch out and create new friendships and get involved.

However, one way to do this is by joining clubs. All colleges, especially the larger schools, have many clubs that students can join. From gardening club to cooking club to a club soccer team, it is likely that your future school has something you are interested in.

For many students, an athletic club is a great way to make friends and stay active. While the majority of students are not going to make their school’s varsity athletic teams, especially at large Division-I schools, most schools offer either intramural or club sports teams. Continuing athletics in college will help your emotional and physical well-being.

For many people, their sport is something familiar to them, so it is a constant when everything else in their life is changing. Whether you play a common sport such as soccer or a less common sport such as rowing or badminton, it is likely that your college will have a sport you like.

College is also a great chance to try a new sport. Some club teams take any level of skill and prior experience, so you can try whatever you are interested in.

“I am going to do the swim club at Purdue because swimming has always been a passion of mine and even though I will not be continuing at the collegiate level, I still want to continue swimming,” Senior Gracie Smetana said. “Athletics are something I’ve always been involved in and continuing swimming through a club seems like a great way to make friends.”

“I am interested in doing the outdoors club at MSU because I love hiking and being outside.” Senior Bria Washburn said. “This club seems like a great way to meet people with similar interests as me.”

Former Milford High School Student Riley Coesens had a positive experience with DePaul’s swim team. “I’ve loved getting to be involved with my school’s club swim team this past year,” Coesens said. “Together, we cultivate a sense of community and a shared identity toward something we are passionate about, pushing each other to improve but also having empathy as a primary aspect in our engagements with one another.”
    For those who are not as interested in athletics, there are many arts-related clubs you can join. If you are interested in music, visual art, dance or any other art form, it is likely that you could find a club with those who have similar interests. If you are a musician, most colleges have bands or choirs that you can join depending on your skill level and interest. You don’t need to be the best to enjoy something and participate in it. Most schools have dance clubs that can perform at games and school events.

Most colleges have a wide variety of unique clubs as well. Michigan State, for example, has a bird watching club and a Bat Association of MSU, and U of M has a squirrel watching club. If you think you have a unique interest like bugs or fencing, there is a good chance that there are a few other students interested in the same thing.

You can find outdoors clubs, activism clubs, religious clubs and cultural clubs. Typical organizations like sororities and fraternities are available as well. Michigan State, University of Michigan and Western are all known for their popular Greek life. MSU has 38 fraternities and 24 sororities. In fact, of all MSU students, 14% are involved in Greek life.  Some sororities and fraternities are even specialized, for example business fraternities. If someone is really interested in the Greek atmosphere, they could try to rush a sorority or fraternity.

Along with some of the more unique clubs, you can find more academic focused clubs as well. There are clubs for things like business, media and chemistry as well as even more specialized things like accounting, or the medical student association. This is a great way to further one’s education and understanding of a topic, and meet people with similar ideas and interests.

University of Michigan has a 1st Generation Engineers club, an Alternative Investments club and an American Library Association Student Chapter.

Regardless of what your interests are, there is going to be a club for you at your school of choice. From academics, to religion, to STEM, to arts and sports, you can join whatever you think is right for you.

For many people, participating in multiple clubs is the right choice for them.

When you no longer have seven hours of school a day and designated practice after school, you will find yourself with more time to get involved with things that interest you.

And if there isn’t a club you want, create your own. Most clubs are student run, so it is a great way to improve leadership skills and get to know other students.