At the beginning of this semester, I attended the Student Involvement Fair, and I can honestly say I have rarely I felt more out of place. As I wove through the tables on Stokes Lawn, I talked to dozens of club representatives who seemed surprised when I said I was a junior. Confused, I began to consider the possibility that I was the only upperclassman at the fair as an attendee and not as an organization’s leader.
I contemplated why I felt uncomfortable looking for a new club and concluded that people generally assume trying new activities is reserved for freshmen or sophomores. This attitude is dangerous because it leads upperclassmen to believe they shouldn’t get involved. However, upperclassmen should join new clubs in order to explore interests, capitalize on the college environment, and develop relationships.
Students grow in a multitude of ways between freshman and senior year. Signing up for a new activity offers a chance to explore a recently formed interest, or perhaps an interest that one was too hesitant to pursue as a freshman. For this reason, I urge juniors and seniors to get involved. With more than 150 organizations on campus, there is no way students are aware of every offering. There is absolutely nothing to lose in trying a club, and by doing so, students may discover a new passion.
The hyperactive college atmosphere should encourage involvement at all ages. College is the last time in life when one can engage in such an assortment of activities. Students should take advantage of the opportunities BC offers before the reality of the real world takes over; there is no way to balance a day job while also singing in an a cappella group, writing for a newspaper, and volunteering on the side.
Getting involved as an upperclassmen is rewarding because it offers a chance to meet new people and form new relationships. By the time students are upperclassmen, they likely have at least one solid group of friends; therefore, it is a great time to build new friendships, rather than limiting oneself to an already close set of friends. Immersing oneself in a new organization offers an opportunity to step out of one's comfort zone.
There are so many benefits to getting involved, and upperclassmen shouldn't assume that joining new activities is exclusively for underclassmen. Unfortunately, upperclassmen often don't join new clubs because there is less opportunity to hold a leadership position. However, students should place less emphasis on their club position and more emphasis on how further involvement can both improve their college experience and foster personal growth.
Ultimately, upperclassmen should understand that joining a club as a junior or senior is just as worthwhile as joining as a freshman. To all the upperclassmen out there: it’s not too late to try a new club. In fact, it’s just the right time.