Why joining a club next semester will be the best decision of your life

Andrea Seet/File

It’s easy to forget some of the incredibly amazing reasons that we decided to attend UC Berkeley in the first place. For many of us, seeing Sproul Plaza as a little high schooler was unlike any experience we had ever had. Now we just try to avoid the inevitable flyering at all costs, but back then, we were in awe of not only how many students went to this school, but how passionate every student was.

Your tour guide probably went on and on about how impressive these students were and mentioned how cool it was that Berkeley is home to more than 1,100 student organizations. But when you truly think about that fact, it’s pretty incredible. There are more than 1,100 groups of students who are so passionate about something that they felt the need to do something about it. And now that we are students, we have the opportunity to join them in their crusades to do good, or just to have some fun.

No matter what year you are, it’s always an opportune time to get involved with something new. Clubs can take up a lot of your time if you become a board member and if that’s something you’re interested in. They can also take up a fairly minimal amount of your time — it’s completely up to you. If you’ve never even gone to a club meeting for anything during your time here, we at the Clog demand that you do so, at least once. It’s a check-off on your UC Berkeley bucket list. Plus, it’s a fun way for you to meet some new, wonderful people.

Some of the coolest clubs on campus include the Suitcase Clinic and BridgeUSA at Berkeley. While the Suitcase Clinic is fairly competitive for entry, it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Throughout the week, the club has different clinics that serve the homeless. Some clinics are specific to women or children, and they all offer different services, including hygiene. Whether you are pre-med or have a global poverty and practice minor, this organization benefits you and the people it serves. It allows students to see their local community from an entirely different perspective and give back to the community that has given them so much.

On a completely different side of the spectrum, BridgeUSA is a group that focuses on closing the binary political divide that exists among students. Members hold forums and conversations about current events. Their mission is to heal a generally hostile political environment because they believe that the only way to work together is to attempt to understand one another and to talk through disagreements.

Both of these clubs give back to the Cal community in different ways, and they are just two of over 1,100 groups that do this in one way or another. Whether the club benefits others, yourself, or is merely for fun, getting more involved on campus is a perfect way to make this large public institution feel a little smaller, meet new people and explore your passions. This article can basically be summed up in three words: join a club.

Contact Annie Hatton at [email protected].