There are approximately eight trillion clubs and organizations that are active at WashU. This is clear right from the start of freshman year, when the activity fair is held on Mudd Field. The clubs are grouped at the fair, ranging from sports related, to political, to media/publications, to musical and more.
To different people, the activities fair could be seen as extremely exciting , or quite daunting. At the fair, anybody can sign up on the clubs’ sheets. The students behind the booths encourage everybody to try their club, handing out candy to those who show interest. Putting your name down probably means you will get the emails, and be informed about the first few meetings for that specific club. However, after this initial step of showing interest, the clubs vary tremendously in how exclusive they are. Some conduct interviews, or have applications, while others are welcoming to anybody, as long as they sign up. It definitely takes some trial-and-error to find yourself in the groups that are best suited for you.
At the fair my freshman year, I was most excited about WUnderground, a satirical, online publication about all things WashU and St. Louis. I went to their first meeting, got the emails, and filled out the application which was somewhat serious, but mostly weird and comical. My friends told me my application was hilarious, and convinced me I would get in for sure. But, as it goes, I got an email the next week in which the WUnderground team “regretted to inform me” that I didn’t make it. I was pretty hurt, and felt naive for being too confident. I didn’t let it get me down too much, however, and one year later, I was standing on the other side of the booth for The River, a new start-up online publication for literary journalism. Halfway through the fair, I switched to standing behind the club softball booth. I feel confident there, and I know that these organizations are better for me.
While joining a club can be scary, and not always rewarding at first, I definitely suggest getting involved with a group freshman year. I know that it is a busy, confusing time, and clubs may fall to the back burner. But if possible, joining a group is most likely going to be a great experience. It allows you to meet people that you may not have known otherwise, who likely have an interest in common, and can be a great way to de-stress. Take the leap, join some clubs.