Every year, hundreds of new freshmen and transfers experience the chaos that is the Lawrence activities fair for the first time. Being exposed to all of the options for clubs, organizations and intramurals at once can be incredibly overwhelming, and it is easy to sign up for everything that sounds interesting or intriguing. When some of this year’s freshmen were asked about what they were signing up for, it was clear that this atmosphere of uncertain optimism reflects the way that students approach their extracurricular activities for the upcoming term.
Some freshmen, like Daniel Vaca, decided to be safe rather than sorry, signing up for more clubs than one student could realistically do, while being fully aware of that fact. “I signed up for twenty I guess,” said Vaca, “like the Food Recovery one, intramurals, VIVA, SLUG house. I don’t think I’m going to be able to do everything but I want to do as many as I can.”
Miguelina Ortiz took a very comparable approach, stating, “I signed up for about twenty clubs, like intramurals, music club and sex education club. I think I’m going to do at least two or three.” Emily Midyette expressed a similar strategy, signing up for “too many clubs, probably like ten. I just did game club, SLUG and I’m really excited about the sexual health club. I’m definitely going to do something, like one of the ten things.”
Others, like Sophia Gyarmathy, took a more moderate approach. “So far I’ve signed up for maybe four things,” Gyarmathy said, “and I’ve signed my roommate up for two because she’s in Bjork. Yeah I think [I’m going to do them], I’m kind of trying to limit myself because I don’t want to spread myself too thin. It’s all stuff that I kind of did in high school that I’d like to continue doing.”
Kelci Page shared a similar assurance that she was going to participate in a lot of what she signed up for. “I signed up for a lot, [but I’m excited for] things like SAI, Rowing and intramurals. I do feel really optimistic about my opportunities this year,” said Page.
Benjamin Carlick also kept his numbers comparatively low, signing up for a “rough estimate around seven or eight. I’m probably not [going to do everything] right now, because I’m trying to prioritize and settle in and get used to work schedule and classes, but once I get set in I’ll do as many as I can.”
As the term progresses, coursework will get harder and work schedules will truly begin, and many of these students will have to forgo participating in most of what they signed up for. But it will be interesting to see if the excitement that these freshmen felt about certain activities, whether they signed up for twenty or two, will actually lead to participation, and to compare which approach yields the best results. To see how the activities fair experience actually plays a part in the real world of Lawrence, we will be checking back in with these same students towards the end of the term to see if they actually ended up doing what looked appealing to them during their first week of college.