Just as you’re running late to your next class, someone passes you a marine biology club flyer. Instead of slipping it in your pocket, as you did with the hundreds of the other flyers thrown your way, you give it a second glance. Perhaps, this club is the one.
For many students, clubs are the heart of college. With clubs, you can make new connections and build a community of people with similar interests. In my experience, joining a marine biology club opened me up to far more opportunities and friendships than simply sitting in class. Just going along with the everyday academic routine in college is not enough; it’s important to get out of your shell and meet new people.
Below are 10 major reasons you should join a marine biology club at your college. Even with the hurdles of COVID-19, many college clubs are still operational and just virtual for the time being.
1. You can meet classmates through a marine biology club.
In a lecture environment, it can be challenging to introduce yourself to your classmates. Therefore, it’s important to take advantage of opportunities to meet peers outside of class. Thankfully, clubs work to bridge gaps in communication and bring people together.
Firstly, getting to know your classmates is a critical part of networking. A large reason why I joined my college’s marine biology club was that I wanted to build relationships with people in my major. By engaging with classmates, you’ll learn more about the area, your major, career opportunities, and volunteer positions. For example, after hearing about all the research work my fellow club members were doing, I decided to take the leap and try research for myself.
2. You can network with potential employers.
One advantage to joining a marine biology club is you’ll likely get to participate in career mixers or fairs. At these events, you’ll be able to speak with employers, share your resume, and pave a potential career path. For tips on how to write a strong resume, check out this article.
Overall, networking is one of the most important parts of college. In reality, college is less about memorizing endless facts and a lot more about meeting people. Make sure to invest your time in any career mixer or fair. At the end of the day, your networking efforts will make you a stronger candidate when it’s time to enter the workforce.
3. Being part of a marine biology club will help you learn more about the marine biology major.
Joining a marine biology club will help you gauge exactly what marine biologists do. In these clubs, people come from all backgrounds. For instance, you might bump into a SCUBA divemaster, an undergraduate researcher, or a science writer.
Marine biology is a broad field, which means you will meet people with vastly unique backgrounds. By meeting all these new people, you’ll get a good sense of what the marine biology major has to offer.
4. You’ll get to know department faculty.
As a marine biology club member, faculty may turn to you to tell classes about events and opportunities happening in the department. Additionally, you may turn to faculty, so you can advertise club events and fundraisers.
Regardless, you’ll likely get to know your professors and advisors better, which will be advantageous for letters of recommendation.
5. You’ll meet people who will want to join you at marine biology events and lectures.
Trust me, it’s always nice to find fellow nerds who want to go to marine biology-related events with you. When it’s daunting to go to a particular event or lecture alone, invite a club member to join you. Not only will it help you feel more comfortable, but it will also be a wonderful opportunity to get to know your peer better.
When I used to live in Seattle, I remember there was a time I wanted to go night tide pooling, but, because it was at night, I was too apprehensive about going alone. Thankfully, I paired up with someone from my marine biology club, and we both felt a lot safer going together. If I hadn’t reached out to this club member, I wouldn’t have seen the magnificent giant pacific octopus I found wandering the beach.
6. You’ll discover ways to volunteer in your community.
As a member of your school’s marine biology club, an array of volunteer opportunities will come your way. For example, your club may want to organize a beach cleanup, a science outreach presentation, etc…
Furthermore, department faculty might reach out to you, so you can assist aspiring marine biology students. When I was in a marine biology club, academic advisors often contacted us to give prospective students and parents tours of the campus.
7. FREE FOOD.
As a college student, free food is always a plus. Sometimes greasy pizza is just what you need after a day of studying. Being part of a club is a sure way of securing a steady supply of pizza and snacks.
Because everything in college gets expensive, please eat any free club food you can get. Otherwise, all that food might go to waste, which would not be fun for anyone.
8. You’ll grow your resume when you take on a leadership role in your marine biology club.
When you join a marine biology club, you may have the opportunity to run for a leadership position. Whether it be Club President, Secretary, or Treasurer, running for a position is a great way to expand your resume and take on more responsibilities.
During my club experience, I took on the role of Secretary, and this promotion helped me build a better background in leadership. Later down the road when you’re prepping your resume for job applications, this leadership experience may come in handy.
9. You can invite fellow marine biology club members snorkeling, tide pooling, surfing, etc…
Marine biology clubs are full of people who love the ocean. Therefore, invite your fellow club members out to the beach for fun activities, like snorkeling, tide pooling, or surfing. Perhaps, you’ll want to have a beach bonfire too.
If you’d like to take your new friends snorkeling, learn how to snorkel in this blog post. Maybe you’d like to go tide pooling instead? In that case, read about all the basics of tide pooling in this blog post.
10. You’ll make friends for life, and have fun along the way.
Chances are you’ll meet some pretty great people the more you put yourself out there. Joining a marine biology club will not only align you with a topic you enjoy, but it will also align you with people who enjoy marine biology as well.
Therefore, put effort into bonding with club members, and build that new circle of friends. For instance, after joining a marine biology club, I met numerous friends, many of whom became best friends.
In college, it’s important to be proactive about staying social. Otherwise, it can be easy to let academics consume you. To avoid that trap, get out of your comfort zone, get over the awkwardness of your first club meeting, and get yourself going on the best adventure in your college career. Joining a marine biology club will change you for the better and help you maximize all the opportunities marine biology and your college have to offer.