Focus in Club Selection is More Important Than You Think

Last Thursday night, my friends and I hurried to finish our dinner at the Irwin Dining Center in anticipation for Club Night.

Last Thursday night, my friends and I hurried to finish our dinner at the Irwin Dining Center in anticipation for Club Night. With over 40 new clubs joining the current 123 official clubs this year, Club Night is one of the most comprehensive events for Lawrenceville’s extracurriculars, ranging from current events and politics to the environment and sustainability; from intellectual and academic pursuits to visual and performing arts. As a II Former to the School, I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed by the possibilities. That night I joined 19 clubs, and many of my other freshmen friends also signed up for 10 clubs or more.

While the advantages of joining extracurriculars are well known to the student body, a more meaningful concept to consider is whether students should aim for the breadth of extracurriculars or just focus on specific ones. As seen on Club Night, many students at Lawrenceville may hold the believe that value comes in quantity with clubs accumulating over 100 people on their mailing lists. However, amidst the flurry of posters and mailing lists, we should ultimately recognize that clubs are a vehicle to discover our passions, merely a means to an end. Only when we hone in on our interests do we truly make a change.

To begin with, focusing on certain clubs can allow students to take up leadership roles rather than random participation. Being in a leadership position allows for authority and, more importantly, a greater ability to guide and start change. On the contrary, if only limited to participation and not direction, one is limited in his or her ability to direct change, which prevents one from learning more from oneself or contributing to the community. Therefore, focusing on specific clubs is much more effective and efficient in getting the most out of one’s extracurriculars.

Additionally, having a focus when joining clubs leads to better time management. As Lawrenceville is an academically demanding institute with often challenging coursework, one would, without a doubt, be preoccupied with studies. Moreover, many students have many commitments to athletics or arts, which all require much time. Time management is thus crucial to students’ lives at Lawrenceville, and by wisely selecting clubs, one will not be overloading oneself with too much information and work from clubs. This can regulate stress levels, and a healthy mental state ultimately benefits one’s experience at Lawrenceville. As one can see, placing one’s focus on certain clubs is undoubtedly the key to improved time management. Last but not least, one vital part of the Lawrenceville experience is definitely to dive deeper into one’s passions, and by carefully choosing clubs one can achieve that. Many passions cannot be explored in regular classrooms, and that is precisely the reason why clubs exist — to offer students opportunities outside of class for their interests. Hence, it is of utmost importance that one participates in clubs that they truly enjoy so that one can fully utilize the resources and opportunities available in accordance with one’s passions.

While many may recognize the significance of concentrating on specific clubs, some may believe that the breadth or quantity of club selection is also important. Their main argument may be that trying out more clubs allow students to explore more and newfound passions, which leads to self-discovery. Therefore, it is important to keep in mind that a balance between breadth and focus is the optimal scenario. One should slowly transition from breadth to focus — trying out new clubs at first and trimming them down to a few to focus on in later years of their time at Lawrenceville.

So what are you waiting for? Do some research and discover more information about the clubs on the lists with their descriptions. Consider carefully your schedule and avoid conflicts between clubs. Contemplate deeply what your actual passions are and place your focus on those clubs. Ask to leave clubs at an early stage — our community will certainly understand your choice. And finally: next year at the Club Night, make smart choices as to what clubs to focus on — for only by doing so can you get the full experience of Lawrenceville’s extracurriculars.

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