Once August comes and you enter university, you will have a new title: freshman. It is a privilege to be a freshman. You are entitled to not knowing how to register for courses, getting lost on campus or taking the wrong shuttle bus that takes you to the opposite direction. But there are also more “glamorous” privileges. One of them is that you get to join one (or a few) clubs right from the start of your university journey. It is a privilege that many students can only realize with hindsight. But Digital Senior wants to let you know now.
The quickest way to make friends
Joining a CCA you like is one of the best ways to develop a sense of belonging in your university life. People come together because of the common interest, and there is no better way to start friendship by talking about or doing things that interest all of you. Digital Senior guarantees you that you will find a few good friends after just one semester in a club (of course, assuming you are not a “sleeping” member who doesn’t attend activities regularly).
Making friends in class?
You may now ask “can’t I just make friends with my classmates?” Yes, you can. But it is going to be more difficult. No longer will you be allocated to a class and go for lectures and tutorials with the same group of people every day. In university, you will be grouped with students who bid for the same index in the same module. Hence your classmates keep changing from semester to semester. In that situation, making friends becomes a challenge.
Then you ask “I can always join a club in year two or year three and start making friends then.” Again, yes you can. But it is going to be more difficult. On your first day of joining a club in year two, you may be wondering why is everybody chatting so happily with everybody else, while I seem to be sitting alone at the corner of the room. Don’t blame yourself for being shy, as that’s really because many of the club members already knew each other long time ago and have formed “cliques” of their own. Do you want to do the impossible of breaking into their circle later or be part of it right from the start? Of course, you may attempt to do the former if you are a social butterfly who has no qualms talking for days on end with a stranger.
Grab it while you still have time
Besides finding a good community and making friends, there are other reasons for you to join CCA at year one. Your year one modules tend to be the easier ones. They are mostly introductory courses, serving as a bridge between your high school subjects and more advanced courses later in university. If you are going to NUS, you should know your year one modules are pass-fail in nature. Hence you should all the more join a club at the start of your university when you still have more free time for many activities. When you go to senior years, many other commitments start to weigh in, such as finding a job/internship, finishing multiple projects and preparing for much more difficult exams. So in a word, don’t wait!
Shop around while you still can!
Other than having more time for CCA, you as a freshman also have more opportunities to find the right community you really like. Not everybody has a clear idea of what they want to do outside their class. If you start exploring in your year one, you can still afford to completely change to something new later. If you start the shopping process later, you may not feel you have the time or energy to try something different, which may end up being something you really like. Or you can commit to an activity for your first year or first two years, and change to another activity for another one or two years. By doing this, you end up having doubled the experiences compared to your peers.
Do you want to stay on campus?
Let’s end the whole discussion on a practical note. In many occasions, your involvement in CCA may be a source of your hall points or recommendation by which you get to stay on campus. Usually leadership positions are rewarded with more points or stronger recommendation. And the most common path is for someone to start off as a member (or subcommittee member), and after one year of involvement, to apply for leadership positions. Hence if you only start your involvement in year two, you only get the hall points or recommendation when you become a leader in year three, which will be used for your stay in campus in year four. Everything gets delayed.
There are definitely more than enough reasons why you should join a CCA early, preferably in your year 1. But all the arguments aside, university is a time where you truly become an adult, and will be taken as such. An adult is expected to have a good social life, with a strong network of people and friends. A high school kid can do as well as you in terms of getting an A grade for a paper. But what differentiates you is your improved ability to make friends, communicate and go out of your comfort zone. Don’t miss that opportunity while you are still a freshman. Time waits for no man (or woman).
If you want to know all the CCAs that are available on your own campus, stop googling or asking around. Just click here to find out more.
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