Freshman year, I remember when the club process started and everyone asked me what club I wanted to join. When I proceeded to explain that I was not interested in the club process, people would look at me with pure confusion. To so many people first arriving at Harding, social clubs seem like the only real way to be involved in college. I would have to explain almost every day why I did not feel the need to join a club.
Do not get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with clubs, and there are plenty of reasons to love clubs and the ways they can improve your time at Harding. But when I showed up to the initial open houses and mixers, I saw no benefit for myself. I did not want to claim a specific group of guys as my people.
I have always been a very outgoing, talkative person, so I have never needed help making friends and have always loved trying to be friends with anyone and everyone. To me, a club almost seemed like a limitation. I do not want anyone I meet to associate me with a certain group of people. I simply want to be seen as myself and only myself. A large part of this is simply my personality.
I have always thought of myself as being aggressively independent, and the thought of fitting in to any one group has never really appealed to me. I want everyone to know that they do not need to be in a club to belong at Harding. There are so many other amazing campus organizations and groups of people to get to know. I met almost all of my current best friends through an off-campus Wednesday night devotional group called Men’s Bible Study. I found my people outside a club.
To all the people who never felt quite like they belonged in a club, you know as well as I do Harding has so much to offer no matter what path you decide to take. And to all the people in clubs, I am so happy you have found a group of brothers and sisters to love and encourage. Let us all continue to encourage each other to take our own path and find what is best for us to grow together.
Noah Turner is a guest writer for The Bison. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.