Finding Clubs and Activities: Advice from an MHS Grad

Ming Wei Yeoh, Copy Editor

As the school year kicks off, many students are eager to join a club and take advantage of the many activities available at Minnetonka High School. School activities are a great way to meet people with similar passions, explore different interests, and gain experience in a subject that a student might enjoy. With all the extracurricular choices provided at the high school, it can sometimes be daunting to choose the perfect one, especially with the possibility that it may not work out as desired. Students can feel pressured to commit to the activity, and this pressure can take away the fun of trying out new things. 

Having graduated after participating in no less than six different clubs, Ming Ying Yeoh, ‘21, has had plenty of experience in deciding which activities to join. As a senior, Yeoh was a third-year writing coach and a member of Biology Club, Molecular Modeling Team, Women in STEM, Science Olympiad and Legacy 2021. She was also a leader in many of the clubs listed above. She greatly enjoyed the experiences she had in each activity. 

“Joining clubs is a good way to meet new people,” she said, “and it’s fun to meet people who are similar to you and enjoy the same things.” 

However, she admitted that the toil of six clubs eventually caught up with her.

 “I really liked getting involved…but I think I took on too many responsibilities,” she said. 

She recommended that students take into account their other commitments before deciding to participate in an activity to avoid overburdening themselves. Some of the commitments that should be taken into consideration are homework, sports or instruments. 

When asked which activity had been her favorite, she answered almost immediately. 

“Molecular Modeling Team,” she said. “We had a lot of autonomy compared to other clubs. It was a really small and intimate group of passionate people.” 

Prior to joining with little experience, she recalled being a bit nervous. 

“I just wanted to try it, simple as that,” she said. “I didn’t expect to start loving it so much. The first step is always the hardest step, but once you do it, it can be a really rewarding experience.” 

To those students who are similarly nervous, she offered some advice. 

“Don’t be afraid to take that first step,” she said. “You have to try something in order to find the right fit for you. There are so many great options but also some that might not be. But don’t let that possibility stop you from trying it.” 

James Finch, a science teacher and former First Mates Leader, agreed.

“[Joining a club is] absolutely the best way to get involved and meet new people,” he said. “Not only that, but also to figure out yourself, your future goals, and passions.” 

He recognized that some students often have trouble deciding to join a club. In his opinion, the reason likely lies in the vast selection of activities at Minnetonka, which can make decisive choices difficult. He also said that conflicting schedules and the fear of doing something out of their comfort zone are also common reasons. On top of that, existing members of a club can unintentionally create an intimidating atmosphere. Finch also offered some solutions to the deterrents, however.  

“Find a friend to go with you,” he said. “Show up to the first meeting. A lot of the time students think they have to commit, but you don’t have to stay forever.”

Once students get past the initial anxiety, there are so many benefits that can come with simply trying something new. Although it may seem scary at first, all it takes is showing up to the first meeting of a club, and one may grow to love it—or not. And that’s okay, too.