Many young people think that college is all about trying to get good grades and developing academically. Well, while this is the main goal of every college, there are some other goals that are equally important. For example, colleges also want their students to be smart and teach them to handle multiple time commitments and activities.
This is where sections come in (students often refer to them as college clubs and extracurricular activities). They are tremendously important for the personal development of students. Moreover, they can be one of the highlights of their time on campus.
That’s why so many young people choose to join them. For example, the Student Life Survey: Student Involvement & Belonging survey conducted at The Ohio State University found that more than 55 percent out of 6,000 participating students were involved in some type of student group, and many more were planning to do so in the next months.
Many of the surveyed claimed that being involved in a club or similar other group provided them with significant benefits. These included abilities like problem-solving skills, stress management skills, confidence, and even a feeling of connection with the university.
Clearly, being involved in an extracurricular activity improves college experience. It helps you to develop as a well-rounded person. So, let’s check the best clubs and sections you should consider enrolling in.
What are Your Options?
Colleges and universities typically have a good selection of clubs and groups for you to join. For example, there are 14 types of clubs at Harvard:
- Campus life
- Public service
- Women’s initiative.
Other colleges may not have such a selection of opportunities. So, let’s review the most popular ones that you are likely to have at a college of your choice.
1. Government/Political Sections
Such a group can help you to research and confront issues that you feel are important to you and society. It’s typically run by students studying political science or professors who would like to run for a public office someday.
You’ll be involved in discussing and developing solutions for hot political issues. Similarly, you’ll have an opportunity to connect with prominent political figures at the local, state, and even national level. You can even organize or join initiatives, campaign, work with political influencers, and so much more.
2. Cultural/Racial Sections
A college is a place where young people from all over the world meet and learn the value of diversity and cooperation. Popular colleges have a lot of international students (for example, Yale has international students from 118 countries). So, learning, embracing, and celebrating cultures is very popular.
Chances are you’ll also discover clubs where African Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, Mexican Americans, international students, and many other groups gather to celebrate their ethnic, racial, and cultural heritage.
For example, Harvard has cultural clubs for Chinese, Latino, Indian, Palestinian, Colombian, Japanese, African American, Cuban, Vietnamese, Russian, African, Canadian, Arab, Native American, and many other groups.
If you discover a group where you think you can join to celebrate what makes you unique, feel free to contact them and enjoy the activities, programs, and other learning and entertainment opportunities they provide. It’ll make your college experience unforgettable.
3. Arts Sections
If you consider yourself a creative person with love for arts, then joining an arts-related group could be a great idea for you. For example, you can learn how to paint, dance, play classical music, sing, act, write scripts and magazine articles to become a better essay writer, and do many other exciting things.
Most colleges provide incredible opportunities for students to engage in art activities to improve their campus experience. Some of them even have unique arts groups you won’t find anywhere else; for example, MIT has a group where you can learn the art of sabar, a drum and dance tradition of the Wolof people of West Africa.
4. Sports and Recreation Sections
If you’re passionate about sports, you should definitely consider joining a club that shares this interest. Typically, campuses provide access to groups in a wide range of sports. For example, Princeton offers 38 different sports clubs that are open to all students regardless of their skill level (see the below image):
Chances are that the college of your choice will have a similar range of sports clubs, so feel free to read the description of the one that interests you to see what opportunities it offers. Enrolling in a group and practicing your favorite sports, such as volleyball or softball, will be an amazing experience that will help you to develop, meet new people who share your passion, and maybe even win some trophies.
5. Religious Sections
Since college is an environment where many cultures and religions meet, religious groups are available in most institutions. Consider joining one if you would like to explore different faiths or deepen your own because groups like this provide opportunities to study religions and connect with their followers.
While religious sections vary from college to college, the most popular that you’re likely to encounter are Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, Hindu, and Catholic.
Feel Free to Explore!
The options described here are just some of the most popular ones. So, be sure to explore what kind of sections the college of your choice provides.
Remember: College years give you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to move out of your comfort zone, meet new people, learn new skills, and develop as a well-rounded person. Don’t waste this moment!
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