Sometimes I ponder what my time at Harding would have looked like if I had been in a social club. What-ifs are always fun to think about, but not to dwell on. This applies to most things that don’t work out in our lives: relationships, friendships, job opportunities, etc. Sure, I think being in a club would have been a wonderful addition to my time at Harding, but it just ended up not being part of my path. It is not part of my story.
I am a senior, and almost all of my close friends are in a club (or two), and I have been able to witness each of them find community, friendship, love and acceptance in each of their social clubs. But, we have also found that same community with each other. I am in a unique place: I am not part of a club, but I have had the pleasure of witnessing all the things a club can do for those around me. I have also witnessed all of the love and joy you can find outside of one. I have felt accepted, loved and cherished through my friends who all wear different colored jerseys on Fridays. At the end of the day, the truth is this: Clubs are something to be a part of, and they can become a part of you, but they are not something that defines you or makes you who you are.
My encouragement to people in a social club: Love your club and don’t be afraid to have pride in it! There are girls and guys who wish deeply they could be a part of it, so don’t take it for granted. Love the people in your club, and other clubs, and those not in a club. Social clubs can be a wonderful way to enrich your time at Harding, but let’s not let them define it.
My encouragement to people who are not in a social club: Do not let that hinder your time at Harding. Your time here is not less significant just because you are not involved in a club. You are still worthy of love and acceptance. Get involved in other campus activities. During Club Week and the club process, don’t be a Debbie downer; I have found so much joy in serving my friends during those big events instead of sulking about not being part of them. Bringing them coffee and Sonic, or just an encouraging note is a great way to serve those people around you.
What I have learned from my time at Harding is that whether you are in a club or not, your true identity lies with Christ. He is where you should find your community, love and acceptance. He gives unfailing and never-ending love that will last longer than what we are a part of on campus. Romans 15:7 states, “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” This verse, and the surrounding chapter, has been such an encouragement to me, and I hope it can be for you as well. I hope you can find your worth, love and grace in Jesus Christ whether you are in a club or not. He loves us earnestly and wants us to feel accepted. Living in that freedom has changed my life, and I hope it can change yours.