The value from attending college isn’t just the degree you receive. Arguably, the most value in college comes from the friends you make, network you build, memories you create, and experience you gain.
If you are reading this, you might be someone currently in college or someone who is about to head off to college for the first time. You are curious about joining clubs on campus and what benefit that could have.
In this post, we’ll share 12 benefits of joining clubs and organizations during your university years. I joined a variety of clubs in my 4.5 years and it turned out to be the best decision I made. For me, they provided more value to my life and career than my coursework did.
Because of the clubs I joined, I met my best friends, built a network I still draw from, and developed skills that transferred over into my professional life. If I had chosen to do nothing, I don’t think I would have gotten the internships and full-time offers that set up my career.
Types of Clubs and Organizations
A typical university will have hundreds of student organizations on campus. It will take you a day just to read them and get the gist of what each one does.
Below are examples of the types of clubs you can consider joining:
- Academic clubs
- Student government
- Greek life
- Sports and recreation
- Arts and theater
- Community service
- Religious and spiritual
In your first few years, you should cast a wide net and join as many clubs as you are capable of handling. After some time, you will get a feel for which clubs you like the most and provide you with the most benefit.
Once you narrow your involvement, go all in on the remaining groups. You get out what you put into it. Going all in is how you will get the most out of these clubs and the commitment will help you get elected to leadership positions.
12 Benefits of Joining Clubs in College
1. More enriching and well-rounded college experience
Joining clubs will help enrich your college experience. You’ll do more than you otherwise would have if you chose not to join any clubs.
Clubs will give you a well-rounded experience. It won’t be all school or all partying. You’ll get involved, build friendships, network, give back to the community, gain insight, and much more.
The prices of getting a degree are astronomical. You might as well get the most out of it and extracurriculars help you do that.
2. Personal and professional growth
When I first arrived on campus as a freshman, I saw clubs as a way to make friends. I was an out-of-state student at the University of Utah and knew essentially no one.
I got involved and made friends as expected, but through the years, the personal and professional growth I achieved made me appreciate the organizations I was a part of.
When you join clubs, you will learn what you like and what you don’t like. You will be pushed out of your comfort zone. Because of this, you’ll grow. If you opt to join a variety of clubs, which I suggest, you will grow in a variety of areas.
3. Friendships and networking
When people mention the friendships you make and the network you build, they aren’t exaggerating. I found that the crowd that joined organizations were friendly and welcoming. They are all like you in the sense that they want to get involved, grow, make friends, and have a good time.
I met nearly all my best friends in college through the clubs I joined. Clubs enable you to interact with large groups. You’ll meet like-minded people and collaborate.
Some individuals may become your best friends and others will simply become part of your network. The latter is a group of people that you know well and can have a conversation with, but isn’t a group you would hang out with all the time.
The network you build will help you out down the line. I have been out of school for 2.5 years. My network has helped me a lot already and I assume it will help me even more in the future.
4. Offers opportunity for leadership positions
The hardest part of getting hired for an interview or full-time job is lacking prior professional experience.
Clubs have executive boards with positions you can campaign and run for. These are real leadership opportunities that help you gain real experience. These positions can help turn you into a confident leader and provide numerous other benefits.
5. Pad your resume and increase marketability
The clubs you join and the leadership positions you take will increase your marketability to employers. You can list out your involvement in your extracurriculars section of your resume and on your LinkedIn profile.
Employers like to see candidates that were involved. They know real skills are built while being a member of an organization. They also know that individuals that are involved are typically self-driven people who don’t just do the minimum to get by.
As a result, you will become more desirable when applying to internships and jobs.
6. You’ll get out of your shell and build self-confidence
As mentioned, clubs will push you out of your comfort zone.
When I came into college, I was pretty reserved and quiet. I either didn’t have the skills to interact with people or did not have the confidence to put myself out there.
Clubs helped me get out of my shell and I saw the same thing happen with others. You will learn to open up and your confidence will develop. This will help you in all areas for the rest of your life too.
7. Build real-life transferrable professional skills
Your extracurriculars aren’t just for fun and socializing (although a lot of that happens still). An organization is a real group that requires skilled members, teamwork, and management. You will build skills that will transfer over into the workplace. They include:
- Time management
- Project management
- Building spreadsheets
- Working with others
- Organization and planning
- Public speaking
- Sales and marketing
You’ll learn these skills on campus, but will be able to apply them anywhere. These skills and experiences are helpful to bring up during interviews to demonstrate your abilities and competence.
8. Develop highly sought after soft skills
Other specific skills you will acquire and develop are soft skills. Soft skills are defined by communication, management, interpersonal, and people skills.
These skills are highly sought after in the workplace. Some interviewers even value soft skills more than hard skills. Hard skills can be taught so anyone can pick them up. It is harder to teach or change a candidate’s soft skills.
With the interactions, projects, and events, you will naturally develop soft skills.
9. Will make your classes easier and more enjoyable
Outside of the weekly meetings and events, being a part of different groups on campus will make your classes easier and more enjoyable.
You’ll likely always know at least one person in each class. You’ll always have people to study with and help get through everything together.
10. Can help you determine your career path
Getting involved on campus will expose you to a lot. There will be countless people you encounter, each with their own background and aspirations. You’ll have conversations and learn their story and their plans.
A club for community service may be filled with members with majors across all different schools at your university. If you join a business club, the members will have different majors all within the business school.
This exposure can help you determine what career path you want to take. You’ll see things from the perspective of others, which can be eye-opening.
On your journey, you’ll thing you have things figured out. You’ll think you know what you want to do, but sometimes you are wrong or at least need confirmation of your beliefs. Joining clubs can help you confirm or find what you want to do.
11. Opportunities to give back and volunteer
So far, we have talked all about how clubs and organizations can benefit you personally. How about sharing that benefit with others?
There are many clubs at each university that offer opportunities to give back and volunteer. You can volunteer to help those in need, help animals, save the environment, and many more causes.
Do some good while you are in college and give back when you can.
12. Offers a break and outlet from your studies
Lastly, the 12th benefit is that clubs offer a break and an outlet from your studies. Learning and studying is what you are there for, but you have to find a balance. You can’t study all hours of the day. It won’t be fun and you will burn out eventually.
When you are a part of different groups on campus, you are forced to take breaks from studying. These breaks will allow your mind and body to refresh. Even though you aren’t studying, you are still being productive through the relationships you are building, memories you are making, and skills you are acquiring.
This ties back into having a well-rounded college experience. You don’t want to only be focused on your studies. You want to grow in all areas that you can.
What is the point of college? It’s to get a degree to get a job, right? That is part of the equation, but your college experience can provide much more than that to set you up for success.
Being active and joining organizations on campus will allow you to achieve your goal of getting a degree and a job. It will also equip you with skills, experience, and friends you will take with you for the years ahead. It’s an investment in yourself that is worth the time and effort.
Take the leap and get involved. The best decision I made during my college years was keeping an open mind and joining whatever groups I could.