Brandeis may have its faults, but one thing the university excels at is student involvement through a variety of clubs. There is a club for everything here, from the pole-dancing club, to gamers, to a cappella, even The Hoot. Anything you can imagine is a club on this campus, and if by some odd occurrence it is not, you can start one with little to no resistance. The clubs are, in my opinion, one of the best parts of attending Brandeis. Nothing is better than getting a few sets in at archery after a General Chemistry test or baking a delicious cupcake after a long day of essay writing. Clubs are an essential part of the collegiate experience for more than just their entertainment value.
In particular for first-years, clubs can be the first place you make your first valuable and long-lasting friendships. These are people you might never see in class, but you know you share at least one common interest. And like most Brandeis students, these are amazing and kind people. Not only do other first-years connect with you, but the upperclassmen also do an amazing job of making you feel comfortable and at home in most clubs. This allows you to make connections you would never have made outside of the club.
Being involved in clubs can also be a great resume builder and a way to learn business and leadership skills. A major in business or economics from a great university like Brandeis is important but does not tell your future employer much about you as a person and your skills. Nothing says “leader” better than being the president of a club or “financially responsible” than being treasurer. Just putting that you were part of a service group or club shows you work well in a group environment. Clubs can also be a great place to make connections with people in your future field. For instance, the Pre-Dental and Pre-Law societies can be a great way to make business connections with people in your field and network.
However, there is always one major concern when signing up for clubs: time management. How could you balance a heavy course schedule and multiple clubs? Being an involved student as well as juggling coursework can be hard and requires learning how to manage your time. However, these time-management skills can be very valuable abilities to develop and can help a student not just manage multiple commitments but organize their time better. This organization can lead to the improvement of both your mental health and your grades. Often busier students are more productive than students with free time, since busy students know they have a set amount of time to do their work while students with free time often procrastinate and get distracted. In this way, being busy with clubs can even help students’ schoolwork and productivity.
Clubs are an essential part of the culture at Brandeis. They incorporate a variety of different people, are valuable for employers and help create time management skills that will last a lifetime. So the best advice I can give is to join as many clubs as you want. Whether it be continuing an activity you used to do or an attempt at something new, take advantage of the club opportunities available at Brandeis while you are here. You never know, your new favorite hobby or best friend could be just one club meeting away.