Image from Pexels.

Image from Pexels.

We’re creating this culture where we have made it okay for us to make clubs for college – to pad our resumes and to make ourselves LOOK like leaders. Don’t get me wrong – I’ve seen clubs created out of true passion and desire to bring something unique to campus. But more often than not, clubs are made in a last ditch effort to “demonstrate leadership” and to have the word “founder” included in our college resumes. But these clubs aren’t shut down. Why? Because they do have the potential to bring something else onto our campus. But it breaks our hearts to see these clubs, these ideas, this potential passion go to waste when senior year rolls around and those senior presidents no longer need the extra bullet point on their resumes.

But nothing is ever said. Or done. Because we have somehow found this habit to be okay. But we have failed to realize is that this is a habit that is causing our future leaders to fake their initiative, hard work, and dedication for short-term goals. By allowing our peers, our students, our future generations to do this in their schools, we are also bolstering and in fact encouraging a disingenuous and selfish community. Don’t start a new club if it’s to fill in a 150 word count space on the Common Application and especially don’t start it if another one like it already exists. Work from the bottom to go up.

Instead of fighting against clubs with similar values in your school, work with them to encourage the making of new ideas and expansion of that organization and its ideals. Make it yours not because you have filled out the new club application form for it, but because you have found your passion in its ideals and you have new ideas to continue its success. If we all begin to make new clubs instead of supporting and striving for the best in ones that exist, we’ll only create unnecessary amounts of competition for shallow reasons. And no, this is not targeted at those students who have established new clubs because their school does not offer a similar interest club. If you go to a STEM school without a single communications or writing club, go for it! Don’t let anything stop you: unless you’re doing it to brag to colleges, then let someone else genuinely excited for that opportunity take it.

If you love something, you can find a way to own it and to move it to greater heights without having to start a new club. New clubs should be to introduce new interests to campuses, not as a means to get us into college. Don’t start a club – go grow one.

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the author

Frances Lee is a senior at Gretchen Whitney High School who finds a special importance in students having a voice and the inherent power in volunteering. She is currently the proud president of Pen on Paper and Key Club and has fallen in love with TEDxWhitneyHigh, a conference she has organized for the past 3 years to share "ideas worth spreading" with her community. Throughout her high school career, Frances has undergone a variety of experiences from traveling to Ecuador to writing a blog to barely overcoming her phobia of public speaking. She aspires to inspire others and to be inspired by her peers every day.

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