Getting Involved in a Mid-Pandemic School Environment

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Kendall Dexter, Staff Writer

Throughout the past year or so, school environments certainly have not been even close to normal. Considering the fact that many activities have been put on hold, as we begin to return to normalcy at school, it can be hard to get involved. It is possible that students feel the need to make up for lost time.

This can sometimes be motivating, but it can also be overwhelming. However, it is important to adjust to our new normal. The best way to do this is to pursue extracurriculars that interest you. Getting involved during any normal year can be challenging, so give yourself time. Make sure to start slow, communicate, and stay informed. With practice, joining extracurricular activities will be fun and relieving, not an obstacle that you must face. 

The first step to getting involved at school is to stay informed. At MHS, the best way to gather information is through daily announcements. These can be found in your email. Checking your email daily is extremely helpful when looking to join extracurricular activities. The daily announcements usually include various clubs that are looking for members.

Additionally, around school, there are many bulletin boards, posters, and flyers. Taking a glance at these on your way around the building can be informative. Outside of the school building, social media is a fairly reliable way to find information. Each class has an Instagram account where current school events are posted. If you are looking for a specific club, many extracurriculars have their own individual social media pages, not to mention accounts for MHS and Milford Public Schools.

Typically, searching keywords, mentioned above, will bring up results. If all else fails, reaching out to friends and teachers is always worth an effort. Some of your peers at school may be able to give you information about different clubs to join, and teachers usually know the goings on of the school. They can, likely, tell you who to inquire with about certain activities, if not give you information about specific clubs. Using all of these tactics, finding extracurriculars to join is fairly straightforward.

After finding a few clubs that you are interested in, the most important thing to do is communicate. Communication lets the person running the club know that you will be a good addition to their club. Reaching out can be challenging, but showing interest is important. The best and easiest way to show interest is to email the person in charge of the club. You can ask how to join the club, when meetings will take place, or what participating in the club will entail. This is useful information to keep in mind when first joining an extracurricular activity.

Keep an eye on your email, and you will get a response soon enough. For many, this is the most challenging part of joining a club. Emailing a teacher that you are not familiar with can be intimidating. However, most teachers are aware that the past year or so has not exactly allowed for this type of involvement with the school community. More often than not, the person running the club will be glad that you are interested and willing to help you join, so just write the email. 

Lastly, be sure to remain an active member of whichever club you choose. Take the extra effort to manage your time efficiently, and be sure to continue communicating and staying informed. Making schedules, checking emails, and reaching out when necessary are great ways to manage all aspects of extracurricular activities. Within the clubs themselves, ensure that you are collaborative, contributing to conversation, and volunteering in any way that you can. If extra help is needed, communicate with teachers and staff members.

They are always there to help, so do not hesitate to ask questions or reach out. The more active you can be within your clubs, the better your experience will be. After a long year or so of feeling disconnected, joining various groups can reintroduce you to feelings of unity and allow you to build the ability to collaborate with others. It will certainly take time to readjust to participating in after school activities, but the outcome is worth all the effort. Having effective communication, time management, and the ability to stay up to date, simplifies the unfamiliar process of joining clubs during the current circumstances. 

Joining extracurricular activities this year is new to all students. This year in particular, there is an unspoken factor of stress that accompanies the pressure to get involved and make up for lost time. However, you are not alone, and there is always someone willing to help. It is important to stay up to date, communicate, and keep a consistent effort. Although challenging, joining clubs allows a sense of normalcy to return to our school environment at MHS.

If you are not ready to jump back into extracurricular activities, take your time. You will be ready soon enough. The pandemic has challenged us all in different ways, and a lot of us are still working hard to become our normal selves again. As we slowly return to life as we once knew it, there is guaranteed to be struggles. Starting small, by joining a club at school, can demonstrate the fact that, through it all, perseverance is possible.