Club culture is integral to all students’ experiences, whether they like it or not. This culture is not necessarily unique to Cornell — though I cannot definitively say or quantify its impact in higher education across the nation. Here on our campus, I see that it has created a herd mentality with both pros and cons, but from the perspective of a student founder, I believe there is a point where obsession with club culture does more to stifle the creativity of the student body than encourage it.
I speak from the perspective of an undergraduate senior who is/was involved in a few major clubs with time commitments ranging between six to ten hours per week each on average. One is a prominent dance team, a second is a well-known consulting club and another still is a university-backed project team. For the first two years of college especially, I found myself devoting a lot of time to the work and social commitments of each club — it’s worth noting that these clubs in particular were not casual commitments, although that is the nature of many clubs at Cornell.
I think of my college experience as two different stories: the first two years of which were spent building up my social experience and my clubs, and the latter two focused more on my personal endeavors.