Many students come to school just to go to their classes, maybe grab a bite to eat from the cafeteria and then head right back to their cars to go back home. Each semester, a lot of us are new to campus so we don’t know too many people or perhaps anyone at all, so school can get pretty lonely at times.
Balancing school, work, deadlines, family and other personal commitments can be a hassle, but getting involved with the clubs and organizations on campus can relieve some of that stress and open doors for many different experiences.
ARC has 50 clubs this semester and new clubs are always being established. There are clubs that cover topics and issues ranging from academic, social and community, creativity and skills, political, cultural, and spiritual interests. We also have an upcoming Club Day on Oct. 18 and tables are going to be set up near the Student Center encouraging students to participate in activities and sign up for clubs.
Becoming a part of a club is a great way to connect with others and meet new friends. College can be a little scary when you see a bunch of unfamiliar faces around you every day, but making that connection with someone, especially that shares the same interest as you, can make school worthwhile.
Jackie Love, a psychology major and a student assistant of the Umoja Sakhu club, an African American program that helps supports students academically, socially and mentally. Love says she finds a sense of belonging within the club and the space provided for them.
“Clubs like Umoja Sakhu brings the sense of community for people of color at American River College,” Love said. “we work together to create a sense of belonging here to close that achievement gap for us and also we have a lot of fun too with all the different personalities coming together.”
Clubs are a great way to come out of your comfort zone and network with individuals in professional or creative interest. It’s a stepping stone for students to obtain any future goals they have, with resources and information that is beneficial. Networking for career opportunities is a foot in the door for connections in the future.
Colleges also look for involvement and volunteer experience. So students thinking of transferring to a four-year college can show that school’s admissions department that they are a well-rounded person who can work with others and in their community, which can make a difference. Being a part of a club will help students stand out from other students.
Joining clubs and organizations opens students’ minds to new things and gives them that courage to explore different options. This is good for personal development in helping students grow individually and learn more about themselves. It can also build confidence academically and socially.
Leadership skills come into play when participating in clubs and organizations as well. Students have the ability to take on responsibilities and action on campus. This experience will help broaden and improve in areas you may already have or give you knowledge on being a good leader.
Frankie Johnson, a student personnel assistant in the Center for Leadership and Development, says she feels that students should get more involved and and know what’s going on.
“Being involved gives students a better understanding of what being on a community college campus feels like,” Johnson said. “You get to know what is happening on campus, things of importance to you or something that just sparks an interest. It is a way to take that step in challenging yourself and gives you a perspective to enjoy school a little more.”
Making Club Day events bigger and more creative each time will definitely draw more attention to students in order to get them excited to participate. Club advisers and members putting their ideas out with more games, activities and even changing up the tables would make the event more exciting and make students want to be a part of it.
For a list of all the clubs here on campus, it is located in the Student Center in the Center for Leadership and Development room and there is also access to clubs online on our college website.