How to Get the Most from a College Activities Fair
A major perk of attending a university: There are plenty of campus clubs and organizations that provide the opportunity to meet lifelong friends, build a network, and develop transferable skills.
The potential setback: There are so many campus clubs and organizations from which to choose!
From gaming to music groups, sororities to service-based clubs, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the long list of options, leaving many students reluctant to join any university extracurricular activities. On the flipside, the beauty of having a large selection is that you can test out a couple of them throughout the semester to find the best one for you.
A great start to narrowing down your campus extracurricular search is attending an upcoming activity fair. Typically held at the beginning of each fall and spring semester, these events give you the opportunity to meet club leaders and learn more information. A list of participating clubs can typically be found ahead of time by doing a quick search on your University’s website or across recreation and student activities social media accounts. An example is St. John’s University’s student activities Instagram, @sjuactivities.
To better prepare and get the most out of your Student Activities Fair experience this semester, here are a few tips to narrow down your search.
#1. Before looking at the participating clubs list:
Write down a short (or long) list of all the things in which you are currently interested.
This is a broad list of your favorite hobbies, passion projects, etc. that you often enjoy doing in your free time.
Additionally, write down a separate short (or long) list of all the things you’d love to explore as a potential extracurricular.
Are there niche how-to videos on TikTok that often pique your interest? Or maybe an activity your friend told you about that instantly caught your attention? Think of all the extracurriculars you envision yourself doing and jot it down.
#2. Before attending the activities fair:
Identify up to 10 clubs on the participating clubs list that fit within your current interests and potential extracurricular options.
A university can have more than 100+ club options, varying from broad organizations like a marketing club to extremely niche options such as “Women on Wall Street.” With that in mind, you’re sure to find a handful of clubs that could be your perfect match.
Extra tip: Get a behind-the-scenes look at the overall energy and culture of the club or organization by checking their social media handles. Many share posts of past activities, member features, and more on Instagram and Facebook pages. An example is this Instagram page created for the St. John’s University eSports club with the handle @StJEsports, showcasing team meetups, competitions, and exclusive member jerseys.
#3. Before and after attending the student activities fair:
Are you curious what happens during the club meetings, what kind of activities you’ll be involved in, and if there are expectations that need to be met? Ask! Don’t be afraid to come prepared with specific questions during or after the activities fair. A club or organization leader is there to help alleviate the stress that comes with making your decision.