High school is the ideal time to start balancing leisure time, extracurriculars, and studying. Having a good amount of extracurriculars helps college admissions teams get a glimpse into who you are and what you are like to do.
Clubs are an important extracurricular as it helps you expand your knowledge in certain topics and you get to meet people who have the same interests as you.
It’s crucial to choose clubs methodically. Don’t try to get yourself involved in every club the school offers. Instead, try to curate your interests so that they match your passions. Try instead selecting 3-6 clubs that really spark your interest and make sure to stay active within them through your high school career.
However, what happens when there is no club that aligns with one of your interests? Prepare to combine your leadership and organizational skills because this is your chance to create your own club. But how?
1. Understand how high school student clubs work
You will need approval from your school to create your club, therefore you’ll need to have a specific plan to bring forth to the administration. Clubs also require you to have a staff member, like a teacher, who can sponsor and supervise the club and help with organizing events and budgeting.
There are other leadership opportunities within a club, so you should consider how many people you are going to recruit to help you run the club. Know that creating a club is a huge time commitment. You will most likely have to plan monthly meetings for its members and meetings in between with the leadership group to prepare events and structure timelines and goals.
Clubs are a place to have fun and they shouldn’t feel like after-school classes. Make sure that you have engaging activities and that you are able to provide knowledge in an exciting way.
2. Generate interest in your school
To start a club, you are going to need a good amount of people to want to join it too, otherwise, it’s just going to be you attending the meetings. To gauge interest, ask classmates and friends if they might want to join your club. If there is a good amount of interest, it’s a good sign your club can prosper.
From the people who have shown interest, determine if anyone is fit to be part of the leadership team with you. This way, once the club starts, you will already have an organized committee of people you trust.
3. Brainstorm and draft the club’s goals and mission
Your school’s rules and regulations regarding clubs may be very particular, so make sure to read them carefully before deciding to start this venture.
Included in this brainstorming, create a marketing campaign for the club to raise awareness of its presence on campus and estimate how many people will become active members to deliberate the budgeting.
Regarding the topic of your club, you need to decide how you are going to present it. In general, clubs fall in three categories: service clubs, academic clubs, and artistic & creative clubs. If you are interested in opening a knitting club, you need to decide the logistics of what you are going to do during your meetings. If you are going to teach people how to knit, you are going to need to finance yarn and needles.
You are going to need to determine what you are going to do at your weekly meetings and at events. If you already have decided who the leadership team will be, ask them to give you input and advice.
Make sure you keep true to yourself and to the reason you are opening the club: To bring people together through a cause or subject.
4. Register your club
Ask a teacher who you know is interested in your club’s subject to sponsor it. If you don’t know a teacher who might be interested, ask around. Maybe your favorite teacher is willing to supervise your club while you direct it.
After you know in detail how you will be running your club and have a teacher willing to sponsor it, take it up to the administration and fill up a registration form!
5. Establish a budget
Clubs are easy to finance after you have brainstormed and planned what the goals and events will look like. It allows you to determine what items you are going to need and how many of them. This is mostly the job of a treasurer, so make sure you have someone in your leadership team who can help with that.
Some schools will give you a stipend to make sure you can run your club, but sometimes it is not enough. For example for a knitting club, you need to get a good amount of yarn and needles to make sure you have enough for everyone. It is not a bad idea to collect fees and perhaps make some fundraisers.
Always consider your options. A lot of places might donate to your club or you can reach out to some services for a student discount.
6. Keep it going!
Once your club is up and running, make sure you put in the time and effort it deserves. Keep engagement by making meetings at least monthly and tracking assistance. If you see less people are showing up, assess how you can re-engage them and what changes need to be done to make sure your club is fun!
Before you reach your last year of high school, appoint someone who will be a good successor by keeping your principles and views a priority. Give them and your teacher supervisor all the knowledge they need before you go.
Creating a club is not that hard as long as you are committed and excited about the club you are creating. Take advantage of this opportunity, as not a lot of students get to experience this sense of leadership and commitment before they enter college! It is your responsibility to keep this club running, so make sure you nurture it and help it blossom.