With over 400 clubs and organizations at Stony Brook, it is difficult to figure out what to get involved with at the beginning of the semester. Often times our majors can make us feel trapped into joining certain clubs and organizations. We imagine our future employers one day looking at our resumes and smiling because we spent all of college doing the sort of clubs and activities that match our occupations.

Whether you’re a STEM, arts or business major, it’s easy to feel pressured into sticking to clubs more conventionally appropriate for the kind of work you will be doing once you leave Stony Brook. While joining clubs closely connected to your major is valuable, important and can often be a source of motivation to continue studying your field of interest, it is always good to try and expand your activities.

If you stick to joining only clubs related to your majors, it will not allow you to experience the full range of activities that Stony Brook has to offer. Listed below are some reasons why you should try to explore clubs outside of your major.

To learn something new: “If you can find something new, it can open up new doors for you,” said Thomas Pon, a clinical laboratory science major who is also a part of Stony Brook’s Cooking Club. Pon joined the Cooking Club because of his passion for cooking as a child and brought this passion to Stony Brook where he is able to help provide delicious meals to students and faculty at the various events the club has.

To make friends outside of your major:  When asked about the social aspects, Pon stated that the club exposes him to new people, especially in classes that are specific for your major, it is hard to make friends outside of your field of study. Making friends outside of your major can offer an opportunity to get to meet new people who aren’t in your classes or even in a related field of study!

Stress Relief: Sricharan Gumudavelli, a Biochemistry major who is a part of the video game League of Legends Club here on campus, uses his extracurricular as a stress relief.

“I think the game functions as an excellent isolation mechanic that really takes my mind off the more stressful things that are going on.” Video games, arts, sports and writing can all serve as proper mechanics to relieve the stress that comes from classes, tests and homework. Clubs offer you an opportunity to take time away from the work and enjoy yourself.  

To Have Fun: College is about getting experiences that you cannot have anywhere else, whether that be club or sports that you would not be able to do on your own or devoting time to something that you will one day not have the time to do. Who knows, maybe you’ll discover a new passion that you never were exposed to or learn a hobby that you will take with you once you leave Stony Brook.

How does one find these clubs? How do they get started? While Pon suggested checking for club websites as a great way to find clubs meeting location and times, Gumudavelli encouraged others to attend the Involvement Fair held at the beginning of each semester. “The club fairs are a great way to quickly introduce yourself. It helps to see all the clubs and teams in one place because it’s kind of daunting and burdensome to find clubs all over campus.”

Do not be afraid to go out there and try something new. After all, that is what this time in your life is about. Try new things and make sure to take advantage of all of the opportunities presented to you here at Stony Brook.