Parkland clubs offer many benefits to students
With the semester just beginning and new students pouring onto campus, many are wondering how to get involved. Parkland College has many clubs and organizations waiting for new people to join.
The Parkland Science Club (PSC) is new—they just started up last fall. Karla Martinez, president of PSC, says getting involved is a great way to meet new people.
“There are several benefit to joining clubs: for me they were meeting new people, getting involved in fun activities, helping others, volunteering and they’re great to put in your resume.” Martinez said.
Martinez said she joined Science Club because she is majoring in Chemistry and has always had an interest in science. But Britt Carlson, advisor of PSC, says you don’t have to be a science major to be in Science Club. When she was in college, she was involved in a variety of clubs, such as Dance Club, the American Chemical Society and the volunteering club.
“I found that they were really instrumental in my success as a student. I learned new ideas, met new people, formed new connections with faculty and with my college, and became truly integrated into the college community. All of these things made me more committed to my classes and to my success as a student.” Carlson said.
Some students join clubs outside Parkland College too. Hayden Wennerdahl, a sophomore in the Pathway to Illinois program, says attending events is important in staying active as a club member. He is heavily involved with the Fighting Illini Bass Fishing Club at the University of Illinois.
“Whether it’s a weekly meeting or a road trip to Chicago I try to be as involved as possible. As a full-time student with a job I do sometimes miss meetings, but the key is self-determination. It’s ultimately up to the student regarding their involvement with their school,” he said.
College can be a balancing act, especially at the beginning. Trying to balance school work, class time, sometimes a part-time job can be difficult when attempting to get involved in a club or organization.
However, Martinez says organization is key, and tries to remember the 5 P’s: Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance.
“For me it is based on organizing everything in advance. It basically goes like this: you have classes you must attend, organize your activities around that, and then organize your social/home life around both. Since it’s so many variables it’s important to be able to have everything organized in advance,” Martinez said.
As long as a student keeps organized and doesn’t overload themselves, joining a club can have many benefits.
Wennerdahl agrees one benefit to joining clubs is making friends. After a year in the club, he has made many friends, which has encouraged him to participate in events he wouldn’t have otherwise.
Wennerdahl also had the opportunity to meet some famous people at an event he attended last January. He volunteered to work at the Bass University event in Chicago where he was able to interact with professional fishermen he’s watched on TV and idolized for years.
Not every club has such opportunities, but joining a club can offer a more well-rounded college experience. When getting involved, it may not only improve one’s resume, but also social life and even grades.
“Many people seem to think clubs are just to waste time instead of doing homework or studying. While others think it is simply not worth it. In reality if you choose clubs you are truly interested in, it makes college more fun and not just a drag to go to class and sit through lectures for hours a day, then go home and do homework or go to work.” said Martinez.
Each club holds office hours once a week in U111 and the student workers can direct you to the president or advisor of a club. If you are interesting in joining a club or getting involved, visit the Office of Student Life, located in room U111, or call them at 217-351-2492.