Now that midterms are over, Greenwich High School students can finally venture outside of their respective cubicles in Greenwich Library and re-engage their typical routines.
Study groups are replaced by sports practices and meetings with teachers are exchanged for community service club meetings. But students who find themselves with a little extra time outside of school during the new semester may want to consider joining one of GHS’s academic organizations.
Current and past GHS students have established clubs for a huge variety of interests, and it is easy enough to form a new club once enough students and a faculty adviser are involved. An impressive number of students are willing to spend an extra hour or two at school after the final bell has rung in order to spend time with people who share their passions. Although clubs welcome new members all the time, academic clubs are often overlooked by potential members.
Among its community service, cultural, and hobby clubs, Greenwich High School boasts a multitude of groups that represent almost every academic subject. Organizations including the GHS math team, science team, debate team, and the Model United Nations meet to hone their skills and compete against other schools.
Students frequently equate academic clubs with honor societies, which have elaborate application processes and entrance requirements necessary to qualify for membership. In fact, clubs attract students drawn from an entire spectrum of experience and skill levels, all of whom enjoy the benefits of participation. New members might be motivated by the desire to extend their knowledge past the material covered in class, meet new friends or improve their performance in an academic area.
One of the best aspects of clubs is that they can suit anyone’s ambitions, regardless of his or her reason for joining. They can provide both the freedom to pursue a very specific interest or mastery of an area of content and individual attention and support from other students. There are no prerequisites or final exams; the only condition for membership is a wish to be involved.
Academic clubs are anything but typical classes. They place more of a focus on participation and improvement, compared to the classroom, where emphasis is often placed exclusively on exams to measure learning. By teaching and learning from their peers, students can develop an academic area of interest without the added pressure of knowing they will be graded on their work.
Academic clubs do not exist for just the most elite of scholars to demonstrate their expertise. They are first and foremost teams that value every player. While the Fairfield County Math League may not exactly provide spectator-friendly events, membership on an academic team can be just as gratifying as that of an athletic team.
And perhaps the best part is that academic organizations are always excited to welcome new members into their ranks. If you are a GHS student, the next time you find yourself at school in the afternoon, consider giving one a chance. Who knows? You might just find that you fit right in.
Danielle Connolly is a junior at Greenwich High School.