A Guide to Choosing Clubs Freshmen Year of High School


Understand that there are three categories of clubs.

•Subject area clubs are clubs that come from an interest in a subject area taught in school (such as Math, Literature, Film, etc.)

•Hobby Clubs are clubs that most likely wouldn’t be taught in high school (such as Chess, Anime, and Video Games).

•Charity Clubs are clubs that are linked to raising money, raising awareness, or helping your community (such as Key Club, National Honor Society and DECA).

Choose Club(s) That Interests You /Are Relevant to Your Field of Interest

Freshman year can be a very intimidating time in your life. You’re still roaming the hallways trying to find your way to your first period. Because it’s a new school, in some cases a bigger school, it can cause you to shy away from school activities. But, don’t do that. One of the key factors colleges and universities look for are how involved you were in school activities. The earlier you start, the better. That being said, don’t think of joining a club as something you have to do, think of it as something you want to do. Which means to choose a club(s) that you think would be fun? Whether that involve going on field trips or it involving a hobby.


Choose Club(s) that have benefits

Have you ever heard of Key Club or National Honor Society? These organizations are nationally recognized. Which means that schools know about these clubs and it will look really good when it’s your time to apply to colleges? It looks especially good if you’ve been in the club since your freshman year. This shows schools that you are a committed and resilient person. Which is something that they would like to add to their school. Especially, when they know that you still could’ve been sleeping in on a Saturday morning but decided to come to an event at 6 o’clock in the morning.

Choose Club(s) That Can Be Fun and Entertaining

With all of this in mind, whether it be a hobby or charity club, make sure it’s something that you’re passionate about. Now you’re probably thinking, how do I choose a club? Make sure it’s something that you enjoy? First, think about what you like to do. What’s your favorite class? What are your hobbies? Is there a skill that you’d like to further explore? Also, keep in mind that you’re going to meet so many different people. You might even make life long friends. Once you have asked yourself these kinds of questions you will have a better understanding of what exactly you should look for to satisfy those club cravings your freshmen year!



Consider the Options: Exploring the Different Types of Colleges


With thousands of colleges and universities in the United States alone, it’s no surprise that there are various kinds of schools that you can attend to get your higher education. It may seem overwhelming, but once you decide what type of atmosphere you’d like to be a part of you’ll find that it will be easier for you to narrow down your college list. Here is a comprehensive list of colleges, in which each type will be explained and weighed for pros and cons, to help you in your search.


In-State vs. Out-of-State Colleges

The first dilemma that most students come across when starting their college search is whether they would feel happier staying in their home state or not. This varies from person to person, for some people have strong connections to their state and would rather not leave it, but others may yearn to go to college in another state for new experiences and opportunities. Personal preferences aside, though, a big factor in choosing whether to go in-state or out-of-state is how tuition rates line up with your current financial situation.

By now, you probably know that going out-of-state for your higher education can be a lot more expensive than staying in state. In fact, on average, it costs $8,990 more for students to attend a college or university in a state where they are not a resident. This should not deter you from applying to the colleges of your choice, though, for you still have the chance to get scholarships and be a part of tuition exchange programs for aid.

If you want to be a more independent student, you should definitely look into applying to out-of-state universities, even if you are not necessarily keen on leaving your home state. Limiting your search to your state is not beneficial to you, and you should instead look broadly for you college choices. You’ll never know what you’ll find if you never try!


Private vs. Public Colleges

Once you have figured out whether you want to stay in your home state or not, you now have to figure out whether you want to attend a public or private university.

Private colleges tend to be a lot smaller than public colleges, with undergraduate usually staying in the mere thousands. This can be beneficial because you can have easier access to professors with smaller class sizes. At public schools, you may get lost in the crowd in class and it may not feel as personal as you feel your educational experience should be. If you love being in a busy atmosphere with a lot of people together, however, going to a public college may sound appealing to you.

Another difference between these schools is that at public schools, you will usually find a larger range of majors that you will at private schools. This is because a lot of private schools have certain academic focuses, like engineering or medicine with better resources and greater opportunities for research, while public colleges don’t necessarily have focuses. If you want to go to a college that is somewhat oriented to your field of study, looking into private schools is a good idea.

Of course, we cannot discuss public and private schools without talking about the cost. As public schools are funded by state governments and citizens’ taxes, it is significantly cheaper for you to go to one of them rather than private schools. Private colleges rely on fees, tuition, and rare donations in order to keep running, and that drives the price of tuition way up; in fact, tuition doesn’t change for people in that state or out-of-state. This is beneficial in a way, for private schools can be region-blind when it comes to accepting students because all who enroll will pay the same amount of tuition, unlike in public schools that accept students that are mostly from the state that they are in.


Historically Black Colleges and Universities

An HCBU, as defined by the U.S. Department of Education, is “any historically black college or university that was established prior to 1964, whose principal mission was, and is, the education of black Americans, and that is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association determined by the Secretary [of Education] to be a reliable authority as to the quality of training offered or is, according to such an agency or association, making reasonable progress toward accreditation.” Even though these colleges are historically black, however, they offer all students, regardless of race, chances to further their talents in their higher education.

At these schools, opportunities may be specifically tailored to African-American history and experiences, which adds to the close-knit community that already exists. This atmosphere is said to be safe and nurturing by graduates, and if you are looking for somewhat familial ties in your college experience, an HCBU may be right for you.


Religiously Affiliated Colleges

People may shy away from colleges that coincide with a religion, especially if they don’t practice  the same religion or any religion at all. You don’t necessarily have to be of the same religion to attend one of these schools and definitely should not let that stop you if you really like an academic program in a school, but you should be wary of what kind of community the school has. For example, religion may intersect with student life when it comes to dress code, curfew, single-sex dorms, and more. Make sure to do your research on a specific school if you are interested, and get a tour if possible. This will allow you to make sure that the atmosphere is right for you.

If you do practice the same religion as a school you are interested in, though, this can be extremely beneficial to you. You can get involved in clubs to further your spiritual growth and attend your specific church with fellow students. This allows you to be in an accepting and familiar community of people who understand you and already have a deep connection with you through religion.

Hopefully, through this article you have gained valuable insight into what type of college you’d like to attend after you finish high school. Now that you have this knowledge, go and research these schools and narrow down your list of possibilities!