Balancing School and Clubs

FSC entrance sign

My name is Hassan Daoud, a senior here at FSC, and I remember getting involved with my first campus club like it was yesterday.

Let me preface with this: the only thing I did in my first two years at FSC was drive to campus, go to class, and then drive back home. Not even once did I consider getting involved with a student organization, or even had the slightest clue as to what the Office of Student Activities was.

That all changed one day when I saw a promotion table inside the Campus Center on my way out from class. A bunch of students were sitting by it, advertising for something called Campus Activities Board, a club I’d unknowingly be in charge of in the near future. They started to tell me about all the fun I’d have being in this club, the grand activities that they help bring to campus, and the cool uniforms I’d get. Needless to say, I dismissed them, but still politely took a flyer from the table, as I thought it’d be rude not to. I thought to myself, ‘Well, I guess I’ll just go to one meeting and see what all the buzz is about.’ At the time I didn’t know it, but that would be a life-changing decision I just made.

The students at the CAB meeting were incredibly friendly and welcoming to me, despite being a total newbie to campus life. I still stay in touch with most of the people at that very table years later, whether it be through social media or casual outings. They began to list out their plans and events for the upcoming weeks, and everything just started to click right in front of me all of a sudden. There is a life beyond just going to and from class for an entire semester. But then the meeting shifted course, and my fears came true. They started asking each person at the meeting individually if they’re available to run any of the events that were mentioned. I completely froze in shock, even though I saw this coming from miles away. I felt the pressure building up inside me, and had no idea what to say or how to react as my turn approached. I gave in and told the president that I’d be more than happy to assist with two upcoming events.

For the next week leading up to my first event, Karaoke Night, I had so many regrets swimming in my head. I told myself that I wish I never went to that meeting, I wouldn’t have had to volunteer for events that I may or may not even enjoy, compromising my time that I had to do school work. I thought that I should just quit the club immediately before I get carried away, and further get involved with the time-consuming activities. It was too late though. I got hooked, and each meeting I would contribute more and more to the discussion and offer my help in any way possible. Admittedly, my grades suffered a bit, but I was having the time of my life after two years of not participating in any extracurricular activities. I started to participate in even more things, such as the radio station and Ramchella committee, and my grades plummeted a bit more.

It wasn’t until the semester ended, and I realized what happened. I overextended myself far too much across campus, and didn’t focus on what I was here for in the first place – to obtain an education. I took a good look at what happened, and realized what I needed to do. Find a perfect balance between my education and involvement in activities. I went to the CAB advisor, who worked in the Office of Student Activities, for advice, and she told me that I bit off more than I could chew, and I probably shouldn’t jump into a bunch of things right away as I did. I took her advice and only focused on CAB for a while, building myself up slowly until I could handle other responsibilities while maintaining a respectable grade-point average.

I went from Secretary, to Vice President, to President, and then finally Director, leading up to my senior year at FSC. I wouldn’t have traded this experience for the world, because even though my grades did suffer for a period of time, I learned a valuable lesson. That everything is good in moderation, and to take chances because you never know where they’ll end up taking you. To any students reading this that are curious about student activities or want to get involved on campus, my advice is to go for it, but always prioritize your education before anything. The experiences and enlightenment that come with being involved in student life are truly priceless.