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What are the differences between a club and an intramural sport in regards to their social aspects?

I've heard that a person can meet just as many people through both a club or an intramural sport. But which of these two would result in better recommendations concerning job possibilities, personal connections, etc. (question is directed towards college clubs and intramural sports) #counselor #college #career #sports #athletics #career #career-counseling

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Candace’s Answer

If you are looking for opportunities after college in a sport, you should definitely join a club team. Intramural sports are just for fun and involve playing students in your college or university. Club sports are generally more intense. You have regular practices, are around each other more often and have to travel for games. You basically will have more opportunities to meet more people. In some sports like rugby, a club team is the same thing as a varsity team. If you want to work in athletics, you should also consider working or volunteering for the intramural department or for club teams. I was an intern for my intramural department and made good connections doing so.

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Lynette’s Answer

Clubs are a great way to meet people, enrich your studies, get creative, or give back to the community, while you are in college. Intramural sports can be a fun way to get some fresh air and exercise. Both clubs and sports offer opportunities to meet new friends, try new things, and add something personal to your resume, later on. Choosing a combination of clubs and sports, rather than just one or the other, may be the best way to maximize your free time.

Which activities should you choose? Here are some thoughts to consider:

1. Choose something you love to do, or feel passionate about. After many hours of classes and studying, you'll want something fun to do, in your spare time. Plus, you'll meet like-minded people, who share your values and interests, giving you the best chance to make meaningful and lasting friendships. There are clubs for just about everything you can imagine: art, business, culture, science, public speaking, you name it! Your college's Website will likely have a list of clubs you can get involved in. But, if you don't see something you're interested in, consider starting a new club!

2. Try something new. Clubs and intramural sports are a great way to learn new skills or try your hand at new sports, without too much pressure or commitment. In the business world, people like to say, "you don't know, what you don't know." Expose yourself to some new activities, and who knows? You may find a hidden talent, you didn't even know you had!

3. Choose something that will get you outside, and let you de-stress. One of the best reasons to choose intramural sports, or an outdoorsy-type club, is to get some fresh air and exercise. "The Freshman 15" is a real thing, and you'll want to stay active, so it doesn't become "The Freshman 30 that's still hanging around into your 30's".

4. Pick something that gives you "hands-on", or "real-world" experience in your future career field. Clubs and activities can enrich your study experience. If you plan to go into the business world, for example, you may want to choose an activity that helps you practice and hone your business or leadership skills. At my school, there were clubs like Future Business Leaders, National Society of Leadership and Success, The Multicultural Alliance, and Entrepreneurs Inc., that allowed students to try their hand at leadership, network with peers and potential mentors, and share ideas. You should also look for clubs that would expose you to real-life, hands-on work in your field. Getting to see "a day in the life" of someone actually working in your career field can be a real, eye-opening experience.

5. Multicultural, social or service fraternities may provide a well-rounded schedule of activities. At my sorority, we participated in a wide variety of activities: social events, community service activities, and intramural sports. It even offered leadership opportunities, and a built-in "home away from home". Through a great mix of activities, we made some wonderful memories, and I met some people who will be my life-long friends.

Whether you choose sports, clubs, or a combination of both, extracurriculars can provide you with important opportunities to make lasting friends, learn new skills, and give you something interesting to talk about during those job interviews, some day. Potential employers likely won't remember your GPA, or what your major coursework included. They’re more likely to connect with you over a shared interest, like a club or sport, or a leadership position you held while in school. They'll be more impressed by the way you light up, while talking about something you're passionate about. So, choose something you love, and have fun!

Lynette recommends the following next steps:

Visit your college web site, to get a list of Clubs and Sports available at your school.
Read this great article, written for students, by a student. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/5-reasons-you-should-join-a-club-in-college_us_57d804c2e4b0a5cd12d74093

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Nancy’s Answer

Intramural sports generally play between teams on the same college campus. For example, one dorm team may play against another's. Club teams generally play other colleges in the area and may travel to other venues. Both present new social opportunities. Some athletes believe intramurals are more recreational and clubs are more intense. One may involve more travel. Ask the student activities office at your prospective colleges about the differences at each particular school.