Hannah Stewart, Purdue University Student and Peer Counselor
The school year is starting and so are clubs callouts. There are tons of options and so many exciting clubs to choose from! I mean, most of us joined a couple of clubs or organizations in high
school, but there are so many more options at Purdue. It’s practically club-overload.
Going to club call outs are great. Lots of information, meeting new people, and of course FREE food! Most club callouts offer food so take advantage of the deliciousness! But with all these cool options it becomes so easy to forget about two other aspects: time and money.
Joining a lot of clubs is super fun and a great way to make new friends, but do you have time to join all of these clubs? While it’s exciting to join numerous clubs and meet a lot of other students around campus, you have to remind yourself that you are a student first and foremost. It is important that you are attending classes and passing those classes, so that you are able to graduate with your degree at the end. Otherwise, what is the point of attending a University? Also, financial aid is contingent on you attending class, and passing. If you aren’t going to class, it can impact your financial aid. Dropping classes isn’t so hot either because dropping classes also affects your financial aid. Remember, make sure you’re taking care of yourself as a student first and foremost!
Time can also come into play when balancing club involvement with employment. Most employers don’t want to work around 50 clubs plus classes. How available are you to work a shift? It’s all about your priorities. Being more available to work makes you more marketable and easier to get a job during college. Besides, when we finally graduate, most people want to see experience, especially work experience related to your field. Work experience shows you can work as a team player, demonstrates your work ethic, and allows for practice regarding public and office relations. A club or organization can offer these opportunities, but it does not look as strong on a résumé, and it certainly doesn’t pay you for your involvement.
Although sky diving sounds amazing, can you really afford to join that club? With club membership club fees and dues follow closely. Then, there are the expenses of clubs you did not plan for. Is there a uniform? How are you traveling to meetings? Do you have to provide anything, such as food or poster materials? It starts to add up, especially if you will be joining multiple clubs or organizations.
Most advisors have a rule of thumb of two or three clubs: one professional, one social, and one for fun. But it’s up to you to decide which clubs best fit. So like all things in life it’s a happy medium. Clubs are full of amazing experience and great opportunities. There so many friends and memories to be made. Just make sure to balance social vs. academic and be realistic on how much you can take on.