From the first day of freshman year, we’ve all heard the same command from permanently smiling faces: “Join our club! It looks great on college applications!”
Yes, clubs are a great asset to college applications. However, having 98 different clubs that showcase your clearly fabricated “interests” appears questionable to colleges. It not only shows that you are indecisive, but it also suggests that you are someone who is willing to take shortcuts in what should be hard–earned academic achievements.
Participating in a few clubs to actually contribute to the purpose of the club is far more impressive than an endless participation list. Even if this includes only one club, it demonstrates dedication to a specific cause or objective, which is something to take a tremendous amount of pride in.
Passion for clubs dramatically decreases throughout the years as competition for college acceptance increases. Many students mistakenly believe colleges want to look at an expansive list of a variety of interests. In reality, colleges dread looking at application after application and seeing the same, boring list of meaningless clubs that do nothing meaningful with their time. It is more beneficial for applicants to join clubs that have a central focus in a specialized field (extra points if it is related to your major!).
According to the College Board, “it’s not the number of activities that’s important. Admission officers want to know what you’ve learned and how you’ve grown from participating in these activities.”
Along with the lack of passion for clubs, students are motivated to start their own clubs in order to guarantee a leadership position that they can record in their college applications. What’s even more foolish is that even these leadership positions can become meaningless as students try to secure their friends these positions as well. The more clubs that pop up, the more absurd the clubs’ focuses are and the less meaningful it is to be president; it becomes a constant, trivial cycle.
On a more realistic side, teachers are allowed to advise a maximum of two clubs. With the increasing number of clubs, there will eventually be no available advisors. This halts any potential for the establishment of new valuable and productive clubs.
I plead with all club enthusiasts to seek a club with an objective that is meaningful to you and that takes up a fun and useful chunk of your precious time. Recognize quality of clubs versus quantity of them. Together, we can stop this club madness.