Getting involved in club activities is one of the most rewarding experiences in college if done correctly. The long hours spent after class working and chilling with your fellow club members are imprinted into your memory in addition to embellishing your extracurricular skill repertoire. As a fresher, these opportunities presenting themselves in the form of clubs for virtually every interest can get overwhelming. Whether you find yourself very enthusiastic about joining several clubs or too hesitant to try any of them, this post might give you some clarity.
In the first year, clubs look to recruit members for the Working Committee (WC). Being a part of the working committee requires active participation in attending meetings, events, and workshops. In the second year, clubs open to recruiting members of the Managing Committee (ManCom) which is responsible for organizing club events and managing the working committee. Active and dedicated participation may give you a chance to become a part of the board, which heads the club. Since recruitment for the management committee is held independent of the working committee, you can also join a club in the second year. At the same time, being a member of the WC doesn’t ensure that you will be a part of the ManCom in the second year.
How To Decide Which Clubs To Go For?
It’s essential to have a rough sense of which kind of clubs or which clubs you want to apply for. It is not imperative to select everything beforehand since there are many things you might not know about each club, but some ideas about where you want to go will help you pinpoint your choices much more easily. During events like the club expo or Leaders of Tomorrow’s Cambiar, make sure you listen to what each club has to say as they often share information that could help you decide whether or not you’d be a good fit. Sometimes a club might seem interesting on the surface, but reasonable contemplation on your side will help you to avoid joining clubs on a whim and regretting it later. Although joining multiple clubs isn’t a problem in the first year, it would be better to join those that would be most meaningful to you and wouldn’t feel like a waste of time.
The Process and Prerequisites
Clubs are broadly divided into technical and non-technical, depending on the kind of work you will be doing with them.
Technical clubs are an excellent opportunity to explore your scientific curiosity in the niche of your choice. The best part is, most of them do not have any branch restriction. Most technical clubs have a screening and interview process to become a part of their working committee. For a person with an eagerness to learn but no prior experience in the field of the club, it can become a daunting process to show up at the test or the interview. You may also find other students more well versed in the field applying alongside you, but this is no cause for worry. Generally, you will only be tested on aptitude and concepts you may have already encountered in class. Clubs look for candidates with a willingness to work and learn instead of an expansive skillset in the field. Most technical societies hold workshops and events for you to learn outside the classroom and the scope of guidance from more experienced seniors.
Explore technical clubs here.
Engineers are reputed for succeeding in fields that are not in the scope of their degrees. A certain amount of credit for this must be given to non-technical or cultural clubs. After two long years of studying for entrances, cultural clubs are the perfect creative outlet you may be desperately seeking in college. They are also an opportunity to shed your apprehension toward an art form you’ve wanted to try. Recruitment is usually based on your natural inclination towards the art and your dedication towards the club. Post-recruitment, it is your responsibility to make the best of the club’s training and events to become proficient in the respective field.
Explore non-technical clubs here.
How Many Clubs Can I Join?
In theory, you can join as many as you like, although this might not be a good idea in practice. A good rule of thumb is setting a limit of three clubs. A right combination of a single technical and non-technical club is right for holistic development while ensuring you’re not compromising your academics or drowning in work every evening. If you’re the kind of person with an insatiable desire to learn, you can also sign up for workshop and event access to the club without being a part of the working committee. Of course, not being a part of the WC means missing the opportunity to learn teamwork, leadership, and organizational skills. The decision is entirely up to you depending on your goals.
Some clubs don’t have any regular work, some do. If you sign up for any student projects they will take up a significant chunk of the time you are at the campus.
It’s purely your decision to choose a club with the workload and timings you are comfortable with. However, if you are thinking of joining multiple clubs, it’s necessary to take into account the time you might need to devote to each club and how you have to manage it with your studies. Most working committees won’t have any regular work, but you’ll be expected to put your 100% in for the preparations necessary when some workshop or event is planned. On the other hand, in Student Projects, you have to devote yourself throughout the semester as they prepare for competitions and have deadlines. Working on a Student Project gives you more exposure to both knowledge and practical experience compared to a technical club, but will take up more of your time. So prioritise what you want and accordingly apply for the clubs you are interested in.
If you get selected for a club’s working committee, you’ll be included in many club happenings and gain useful experience. However, if you are just a club member and couldn’t be recruited by the WC, it’s your own choice of how much you want to be included. Active participation on your part will help you become more included in their activities, so always try grabbing whatever opportunities you get to showcase your efforts. Lack of interest and participation on your side will make you grow distant with the club, and in due time, when you want to be included in its latest happenings, you’ll find yourself stuck at the periphery. Sometimes you will also find people who have a lot more exposure than you and are more involved due to their skills and knowledge. Rather than getting disheartened, focus on how you want to develop yourself within the club. So don’t let your lack of experience or skills make you hesitant to perform.
- Do your research and shortlist the clubs you are interested in.
- Pay specific attention to the club’s agendas and events at the club expo or Cambiar.
- Attend the interview and test even if you are apprehensive about it or not confident enough.
- You do not need any prior experience to join most clubs.
- Only enter the club if you are willing to devote time to the voluntary learning process.
- Set a limit on the number of clubs you plan to join based on your workload and time management skills.
- Remember that showing up to club events is entirely voluntary and vital to enrich your extracurriculars.
- Your level of participation will determine how productive your experience with the club will be, so don’t be afraid to get hands-on in unfamiliar territory and don’t hesitate to ask for help when required.
Written by Pahal Duggal and Anushka Battacharyya for MTTN
Edited by Naintara Singh for MTTN
Featured images by Anmol Rathi for MTTN