I often say that a student’s most useful experiences come when they are NOT sitting behind a desk. High school clubs are one of those joyful diversions that brighten your student’s day.
For our high school juniors (and younger), we want to encourage them to find a club because they WANT to, because they have an INTEREST in it, and NOT for resume-building.
In my team’s work with high school students, it’s often an activity outside of school that really lights them up. It might be guitar lessons, a sport, work…or the activities of a club that allows them to do something they enjoy and are interested in.
Some clubs are tied to local, national, or international issues that might be on the student’s mind. Some are purely fun. (Hello, ukulele club?! How about cheese club?) Some have a competitive element. Some are altruistic.
When students choose a club, they are joining a group of like-minded fellow students. They can connect over a shared interest like ping pong or social issues. In their classes, it is different. They are in class with their peers but might not share interests.
Clubs allow a natural connection across grade levels. Younger students can watch their older peers and model the behavior they’ll grow into, and most clubs offer the opportunity for all members to step up and lead when they are ready. Clubs do all of this.
On the personal side, the importance of clubs is the very reason that Monika Torrence and I approached our high school in 2014 to start a Club Fair. Val Lawrensen, our assistant principal, has been a fantastic partner to get it done each year. As a parent, I am so glad to make this happen each year. (Now, which of you will take over the volunteer coordinating next year?) 🙂
High school clubs are a valuable piece of your student’s experience. Encourage your student to choose one (or several)!