It’s freshman year. You’re at the bottom of the totem pole. You have strict rules from your older siblings to not associate with them at school or anywhere else public. To make things worse, your mom packed you lunch in your old ‘Spiderman’ lunch pail. Just take a breath, and hear me out.
It’s not the end of the world.
One thing you’ll learn in high school is that Spiderman will always be a classic. Other than that, just because you’re the fish of the school, doesn’t mean you can’t get involved. It’s actually crucial you do because then you are able to grow within the club, sport, or organization you join. Plus, a lot of your friends will come from backgrounds of similar interest and it’ll help ease your transition into high school. That and it looks great on a resume, offers you a great experience, and additional opportunities for scholarships.
1. How do I begin? The hardest part is to understand the essentials of time management, especially if you go to a large high school. There are going to be tons of different extracurricular activities to choose from but be careful. The most important thing for you to take care of as a student is your grades. Afterwards, make a schedule to see the free times that you have while leaving plenty of time for schoolwork. Then, the search begins.
2. Where do I look? The best way to find what your school has to offer is to ask your counselor, talk to an older (and nice) student, or look at your high school’s website. Most high schools have a list of activities somewhere (just ask) and some schools even host club fairs at the beginning of the year. Go through the list whether it’s volleyball to anime club to student council, and pick out three organizations you have an interest in joining.
3. Is it the right fit? Depending on your schedule, you’ll probably not want to join all three. But you’ll need to learn more about those organizations. If it’s a national organization like DECA, BPA, or FFA, you can probably just search for more information online. However, most activities run differently varying on the school, and some organizations like Student Council, require you to be elected. Your best bet is to find out who the adviser is and asking them for more information. Most advisers are more than happy and always recruiting.
4. The Perfect Activity? Usually you’ll find an organization that just calls to you. However, if you find yourself sweating over which organization or sport to commit to, look at your schedule. For example, Chess Club meets every Tuesday afterschool while Art Club meets on Wednesday mornings—you have to ride the bus right afterschool but in the mornings you have free time. In this scenario, Art club would be the best fit. Plus, if you can manage to do so, join more than just one.
5. Stay Active. Don’t forget about schoolwork but be ready to commit to your organization, sport, or club. Plus, when you feel you have enough experience and dedication, be sure to run for an officer position and stay active. You’ll have something great to put on the resume your senior year and be rewarded with the feeling of accomplishment.
I wish you luck in your journey. Freshman year might be filled with new and semi-terrifying experiences but alas, do not fear. It’s only one year of fun acne, new bullies, and finding out where to sit at lunch. However, finding an extracurricular activity can be a good way of finding new friends and a “niche” for you.
Biography (for fun):
Whitney is a recent graduate from high school and on the verge of entering college as a freshman this yea. She’s a witty fan of Stephen Colbert, and dislikes pickles. However, she does remember her awkward freshman self, and wishes she too had someone to tell her it’s not the end of the world.