JOIN THE CLUB
As a rising senior, I’ve already prepared an answer for the ‘What do you wish you would have known?’ question. There are many things I wish I knew then, like don’t go to the dining hall at noon even if you
Sports, however, have always been my passion. I made one promise to my mom when coming to college—that I would go to class. I wanted to do well in my classes, so I didn’t pick up any extracurricular activities, including joining a club sport.
There are three things about club sports I wish I knew as a campus map-carrying freshman that I know now as a Carroll-dwelling junior: they won’t take up all your time, they let you experience new things and they’re a lot better than intramurals.
1. THEY’RE NOT THAT TIME-CONSUMING, I SWEAR
I know, it sounds daunting. I quit team handball freshman year because I didn’t think I could commit to three practices a week. I was wrong. Last year, I began playing volleyball, which also practices three times a week. It wasn’t difficult to fit in my schedule, and, whenever I felt overwhelmed, I didn’t go to practice. My teammates understood. They’re college students too, after all.
You’ll be fighting the freshman 15 anyway, so you might as well play on a club team. As freshman editorials editor Ellen Murray, who plays on the club tennis team, says, “If you’re going to spend 60 minutes a week exercising as is, why not commit that time to a club sport?”
Playing a club sport is also a productive stress reliever. Classes and the majority of extracurricular activities add pressure to your life. Playing a club sport is something you can do that will help alleviate that stress.
“Tennis is the most relaxing thing I do,” Murray says.
2. YOU GET TO TRY NEW THINGS
The whole point of college is to try new things. Volleyball was a new thing to me. Maybe it’s not to you, but something tells me underwater hockey is. If it isn’t, there are more than 40 other club sports, so I bet you can fi nd something you haven’t done before.
A major part of trying new things is meeting new people. Senior sports writer Danny Gassaway played volleyball as a freshman. “My favorite parts were the practices,” he says, “because I just got to hang out with my new friends.”
Freshman sports writer Luke Neenan plays basketball, and he says knowing older players on the club basketball team helps—especially when it comes to hitching a ride off campus. “If I need a ride anywhere, I can give a call to anyone with a car, which is nice.”
Sure, freshmen are constantly introducing themselves and meeting new people, but when you go to club sports tryouts, you know that you already have something in common.
3. INTRAMURALS SUCK (KIDDING … SORT OF)
Club sports off er a diff erent level of competition than intramurals do. So if you’re not trying a new sport but are playing the one you played in high school, like Neenan and basketball, you should give club sports a try.
“I like being able to compete at a serious level,” Neenan says. “I don’t feel that intramurals offer that.”
Intramurals also don’t offer the same camaraderie that being on a team does.
“With intramurals, you make a team, play a couple games and then you’re done,” Murray says. “Club sports practice throughout the year and go on tournaments, so you really get to know your teammates.”
There are many great ways to spend your time on this campus. If you’re reading this page, then I’d say you’re interested in sports. Just know that you don’t have to be James Michael McAdoo to don a Carolina jersey. A club sport may not be the best thing for you, but I hope you at least give it the chance. And know that you won’t struggle on your Econ exam because you went to practice—that was going to happen anyway.