Starting the school year is always difficult. Whether its new classes or friends every school year is an adjustment. The beginning of a new year also means trying new activities.
Many students base these off of their intended college major or future career path. For example, I want to be a lawyer, so I am involved in mock trial and Model UN. Below is a list of activities that will get you started in many career fields, and connect you with peers that have similar aspirations. You never know, you might even end up meeting your new closest friends!
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Law and Government
Mock trial is a great opportunity for any aspiring lawyer. The teams run through schools, and highschool teams are made up of twelve people, six lawyers and six witnesses.
After studying a case and building an arguement, you go to your county's courthouse and compete in a trial against other schools. Mock trial teaches students about courtroom proceedings, etiquette, and the job of a lawyer, while providing an enviorment where you really get to know your team members.
Model UN is a fun simulation of the United Nations. In this club, students will learn about past or current issues and crises, and then present their ideas during conferences. You represent different countries through writing position papers and working as a team to get your position passed in conferences. Model UN teaches you a lot about the United Nations through experience, and improves writing, public speaking, and knowledge about history and current events, and introduces you to potential friends from other schools.
The title is self explanatory here - if you want to go into government you should probably run for student government positions. These positions will teach students about leadership and how to make decisions that benefit your entire grade, or student body, while keeping school policies and restrictions in mind.
Speech and Debate
Speech and Debate is one of the most popular clubs at high schools in my area, and probably in yours too. Some of the many skills you learn from speech and debate is public speaking, creating a speech, and anticipating opposing arguments, which is a crucial skill for any future leader. This club will benefit anyone, especially those who would like to go into law or government.
Theater builds self confidence, and gets you comfortable being in front of an audience. It also teaches you the crucial skill of memorization, which anyone in these fields will need to present speeches. Plus, being in a show together for months really creates a close bond between everyone involved - it is a great way to make new friends.
Political Discourse Club
Political Discourse Club is less time consuming than all of the other activities mentioned above because it only requires knowledge of current events. During meetings, students will debate over current issues in order to understand others perspectives and share their own opinions. Also, you can meet people with similar ideas, who you can talk to in the cafeteria and during free times at school.
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Medicine and Health Care
HOSA (Future Health Professionals)
Hosa is a healthcare focused club where students learn about different career opportunities in this field and compete for your school. Typically, students choose if they want to work in a group or individually, and then get assigned topics to study before competitions. Competing is a lot of fun, and it exposes students to new career options in health care.
Pre-Med club is an important way for aspiring medical professionals to learn about the different fields in medicine, and the requirements of having these jobs. Sometimes, they even do fun activities. For example, the pre-med club at my highschool dissected a pig.
If you want to go into medicine, this is probably the club for you. Also, it is filled with others that have the same professional goals as you, and dissecting a pig is truly a bonding experience.
Science Olympiad is a team that competes in competitions in your area. Students involved are assigned a few different topics to study, and create a cheat sheet for in some cases, and then take a test on their topics during competitions. It is a fun way to learn about science, and a good opportunity to have specific knowledge on your interests. Plus, the teams usually become friends because they fo to competitions together.
Anatomy and/or Biology Club
Anatomy and biology clubs are exactly how they sound- interested students meet to discuss topics in biology or anatomy. These clubs are a great way to learn about these subjects in depth, and gain a greater understanding of specific matters within them.
National Science Bowl
The National Science Bowl has a game show format, except the questions are focused on scientific knowledge. First, teams compete in regional bowls, and the winning team moves on to a pre-paid trip to Washington DC for the finals. The National Science bowl is a way for students to learn more about all science topics, and even to make new friends during competitions.
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DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America)
DECA is a great opportunity to learn about business, and you can focus on a specific area of interest. This could be business law, marketing, franchising, etc. Plus, you will end up with detailed knowledge about your topic, since your team will go to competitions where you take tests to compete for awards. It is also another great opportunity for you to become close with new people.
FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America)
FBLA is an enjoyable program designed to teach high school students about business and entrepreneurship. There are conferences, competitions, and meetings at your school that aim to promote interest in business. At my cousins school, their FBLA chapter took a three day trip to New York City to see professionals at work. They also saw some tourist attractions while they were there, which made the trip more fun.
Entrepreneurship club is probably at your school - this is another common club. Unlike FBLA or DECA, this club provides students with business skill sets that will be crucial to their success in the professional world. It is a relaxed way to learn about your interests, and hang out with friends who share your interest in entrepreneurship.
Engineering and Computer Science
Robotics is a club that combines engineering and computer science into one program. You get assigned, or get to choose, a goal for your robot, and get to go through a trial and error process until you get it to work smoothly. Also, you will probably be working in a group, and it is a great way to make new connections.
Rocketry club will provide students with a great knowledge of physics, because it takes a lot of hard work to get a rocket launched. It is a fun way to do physics, trust me it's probably more entertaining than your advanced physics class, and teaches you how to work effectively in a team. Also, in a few months you get to see your hard work pay off and watch the rocket launch.
This was covered in the medicine and health care section, but is also a good opportunity because it has lots of different options to learn about.
Hacking and Computer Clubs/Teams
Hacking and Computer clubs explain themselves- they are a good way to meet people with the same interests and talk about all of the interesting new tricks you learned on your computer. Plus, you can learn some new tips from your peers as well.
If you can't find one of these clubs at your school, reach out to friends in schools around you, and see what they offer. These friends can help you get connected with the leaders at their school, and they can give you the content. You might even be allowed to sit in on some club meetings.
If this doesn't work, or you want to have a club personalized to your school, create your own! You can show your leadership skills and learn about a topic that you want to pursue. Keep getting involved and loving your activities!