“There are over 140 clubs at St. Lawrence!” My Orientation Leader promised me and my fellow first-year students with a cheerful smile.
We were gathered outside the north wing of Rebert Hall—one of the first-year residences—discussing opportunities to get involved on campus. It was only days later, when I stood in the center of the Club Fair, that I realized how many clubs 140 truly is.
I remember my friends and I scanning the plethora of booths lining the walkway outside of the Student Center with no clue where to begin.
“What if we just signed up to get emails from all of them?” One of my friends suggested, her gaze darting from one colorful table to the next. I shrugged in agreement to this stroke of ingenuity.
Dozens of emails later, I had attended a couple of club volleyball meetings, tried my hand at club hockey, investigated Habitat for Humanity’s ring workshops, explored the Class of 2026 Council, and made an appearance at every Literacy for Nepal meeting. Among everything I tried, Class Council and Literacy for Nepal stood out to me as the two activities I most wanted to be a part of during my first year.
With my first year behind me, I can say that it was incredibly exciting to explore so many different clubs and activities. I have a few tips for anyone who wants advice on how to get started and have fun discovering all the activities available for students at St. Lawrence University.
1. Don’t be afraid to try something new.
Trying new things is beautiful, and college is a perfect time to explore new things. Perhaps you’ve never been on a sports team, but a club sport becomes your favorite weekly activity. Maybe you love attending as many music concerts as possible so you decide to join ACE (Association for Campus Entertainment) where you can help organize the biggest concert on campus each semester—you might even get to meet your favorite artist. It’s possible that you will find a love for something greater than any hobby or passion you have yet pursued. Challenge yourself to try something new.
2. Consider joining clubs that support efforts you care about.
There are many clubs and organizations on campus that enable you to support and fundraise for meaningful causes. One issue that I really care about is education inequality. I joined Literacy for Nepal because it is a service club that fundraises to provide rural Nepali students access to higher education. I love being a part of a group that raises money for such a worthy cause and has a direct impact on people’s lives.
If there’s an issue that you’re passionate about, I recommend joining an existing club on campus that supports solutions and fundraising or even creating your own club to support the cause that’s most important to you.
Take advantage of the opportunities around you and participate in everything that intrigues you. Every club is worth trying once and trying a lot of clubs can help you navigate which activities you most want to dedicate your time to."
—Amara McGowan '26
3. Think about joining Class Council.
Class Council is a leadership club that focuses on raising money for your class, hosting social gatherings, and sharing vital information and deadlines to your peers. Because it involves collaborating with other clubs and organizations, it’s a wonderful opportunity for first-year students who want to get more involved on campus.
Over the course of my first year, I noticed my communication, leadership, and organization skills improving as I planned and shared events with my class. I refined marketing and innovation skills while brainstorming and running fundraisers and became more confident collaborating with groups across campus on events. I am happy to have been a part of Class Council in my first year. I decided to continue with the club in my sophomore year and I was elected President of Class of 2026 Council for this upcoming year.
4. Finally, try everything that piques your interest.
There is such a variety of activities available to you during your time here. Take advantage of the opportunities around you and participate in everything that intrigues you. Every club is worth trying once and trying a lot of clubs can help you navigate which activities you most want to dedicate your time to. I love the memories I made while exploring all the activities that piqued my interest during my first year.