In college, one of the best ways to make friends is to join organizations and clubs. Unfortunately, as the semester progresses, the stress and workload that come with academics tend to increase and, as a result, some extracurricular sacrifices will need to be made. Though the prospect of missing out on certain activities and perhaps even losing some friends is not exactly appealing, determining how to drop extracurricular activities can be easy once certain considerations are taken into account. That said, these are some questions you should ask yourself if you are in the middle of figuring out what clubs you should drop:
1. Is there an overlap? Do members from one club also appear to be in the other? Do these clubs have constant contact with each other?
The basic gist here is that, if the friendships are what matter to you most, then drop one that has overlap with another and just stick to the other. Chances are, you’ll still be able to hang out with the people you like from the club you dropped simply because they are also in the club you stick to. If you’re worried about losing connection with people you wanted to get to know better from the club you dropped, you can rest assured that the overlap of members can help you keep in touch with the members you weren’t able to get to know as well.
2. Which one looks better on a resume? Keep one or two like this (unless the rest of your resume speaks well of you).
If you care most about your resume and believe your other activities/academic credentials won’t cut it, then taking out the “fluff” — the clubs that don’t do much for your resume — might be best. These clubs include any for which you are not on the executive board, any that are social, and any that do not allow for you to shine. Volunteer clubs as well as ones that allow you to develop your professional interests and act as good networking tools would be best for these purposes.
3. Which one are you/want to be on the executive board for? If many, which one is most likely to have you in a leadership position?
To get on the executive board of any club, you have to be a dedicated member and, usually, a well-known one at that. Much like you would build up your resume to get a job, you should build up your connections among members and displays of dedication to assure members that you are perfect for the executive board position you are seeking.
Of course, this is easier to do in a smaller club than it is to do in a bigger one, so it is important to determine whether you are seeking to be in a leadership position for the sake of being in one (in which case, a smaller club would be best) or whether you are seeking to be in a leadership position because you genuinely care about leading the club into the future. That said, if you want to be in a leadership position, give up the clubs for which you have no desire to be on the executive board for, or for which you have no chance at being on executive board for.
4. Which one are you deeply passionate about?
Some people join clubs because those organizations address issues they are deeply invested in. If this is you — if you are most interested in making an impact on an issue you care about — then, by all means, continue with those clubs. Just note that it would be best to prioritize which issue you care about the most and then perhaps just focus on one or two, cutting out the rest in the process.
5. Which clubs act as de-stressers? Will you go crazy without them?
If you find yourself in, say, the yoga club or some other club whose activities serve as de-stressors for you, then definitely keep at least one, but only if you find that it is the only thing that can offer you relief. De-stressors are good and definitely important for your health, so do not drop a club if you find that it calms you down. Instead, especially if you are prone to anxiety and if you stress out easily, drop the clubs that are high-paced, demanding, or full of unnecessary drama. Your health is important and you really do not need more stress than the amount you already face.
6. Is it possible to just go to events and receive the same kinds of information you would at the general meetings?
If the answer is yes, then stop going to meetings, but stay committed by going to events and volunteering to help the club in other ways. This way, you can still enjoy the company of the club’s members whilst engaging in the club’s activities. Only do this if you can’t decide on what clubs to drop or if you find that you have the time to be engaged in all of your activities but to different extents. You should definitely try to drop some clubs, though.
7. What is less time-consuming but more rewarding?
If you want to do the less time-consuming things, also make sure that they are the most rewarding because, otherwise, you are wasting your time. Some clubs that take up more time than others but can offer less rewarding experiences for you. So just note that, if time commitment is an issue, you should try to gauge which organizations will require you to spend more time out of your day than others and if that time is worth it. Drop the clubs that are more time-consuming but less rewarding, and stick to the ones that are less time-consuming and worth it.