Be A Joiner: “Shop” For Activities and Get Involved

Ali Saunders , Entertainment Editor

Then boy's varsity soccer team prepares for another season. Photo courtesy of Megan Becconsall.
Then boy’s varsity soccer team prepares for another season. Photo courtesy of Megan Becconsall.

Hello Class of 2020 and welcome to RHS! 4 years ago, I entered my freshman year at Ramsey High School. Eager to become involved and contribute to the RHS student life, I dove into the extracurricular scene headfirst. Now 4 years and several activities later, I have three pieces of advice regarding clubs and other extracurricular activities that I would like to share with you, the eager freshman.

My first piece of advice is to try anything that sounds remotely interesting or exciting. I would like to use a shopping metaphor to explain my point here. A freshman has a clean slate, or in other words, an empty cart. In the beginning of the year, freshmen will attend an activity fair, in which they are introduced to the clubs RHS offers. Each booth at the fair will give details for when the specific club will first meet. It is at these first meetings a freshman can shop. Shopping is simple: people attend the first meeting for a club, shop it, and if they like the experience, they can add it to their cart. Yet, if students try out a club and find that it’s not for them, then they can put the activity back on the shelf. The point is to step out of your comfort zone and try anything that seems intriguing because there is nothing to lose. Loved the first meeting? Great! Become a member. Weren’t thrilled? Keep shopping and find another club you’ll be more enthusiastic about joining instead.

Second, I also advise becoming committed to and engaged with the activities you end up “purchasing”. A reality of high school is building a resumé for college. Here’s a tip: colleges love to see commitment. Join a club your first year, dedicate yourself to actively participating in the meetings and events, and then continue with the club your second year. Eventually, you will be able to become a leader of the club! It is important to recognize that it is common and encouraged to continue getting involved throughout all of your high school career. However, as a freshman, it can be helpful to start thinking about how presenting a 4-year commitment in which you transitioned from a member to a leader is a helpful addition to your resumé.

I’ve emphasized that extracurricular activities are important for college resumés. Yet, there are several other reasons excluding college that also deserve attention that explain why getting involved is rewarding. For starters, you meet new people! Upper classmen can become familiar faces and new friends. Clubs are a great way to expand your social network. You also grow and learn more about yourself. Perhaps finding a love for Yearbook will encourage you to study graphic design. Or maybe winning your student council election freshman year may inspire you to study government your senior year. Extracurricular activities, while outside of the classroom setting, can help shape your academic curriculum in high school, or even give you an idea of what may be interesting to pursue in college. Overall, you can’t go wrong by investing your energy into an activity.
Here is just a quick list of some clubs you can join, although the activity fair will be more helpful for sure. Interested in academia? Join our math league, science leagues, and language-based clubs such as French club and Spanish club. Interested in student government? Student Council and Student Congress are available to you. Other clubs, such as Drama Club, the school newspaper, the yearbook committee, Interact (community service), and Relay for Life are looking for you, too.
Hope to see you in some extracurricular activities this year!