Stanford Online High School's student run news site

OHS Observer

Stanford Online High School's student run news site

OHS Observer

Stanford Online High School's student run news site

OHS Observer

A New OHSer’s Guide to Clubs

OHS currently offers over 100 student-led clubs covering a range of hobbies and interests.
Stanford OHS
OHS currently offers over 100 student-led clubs covering a range of hobbies and interests.

What is the best way for students to make friends with common interests? Clubs! Whether Brick and Mortar or Online, clubs are a fantastic way for students to try out new skills and socialize with peers. However, it can be overwhelming for new OHSer’s to figure out which group is right for them.

 

Here at SOHS, Student Life collaborates with club leaders to find the perfect fit for students. Student Life’s role is to support clubs by “Registering clubs for tournaments, helping to arrange guest speakers, advertising for club events, and providing swag prizes,” says SOHS’s Student Life Coordinator, Mrs. Alden.

 

Even with the help of Student Life, the long list of clubs and circles available can be overwhelming to students, especially those new to OHS. Luckily, OHS provides a variety of different types of clubs with varying degrees of commitment required.

 

There are many clubs whose purpose is simply to connect students with similar interests, such as Art Club, Book Club, and Chess Club.

 

Additionally, there are identity-affirming clubs for people who share a culture or beliefs. Some of these clubs include Asian and Pacific-American Student Union, Black Student Alliance, and Jewish Student Alliance. Another example of one of these groups is the Queer Liberation Society, which has been described as “a collective for queers and accomplices who dream of more than human rights,” by QLS founder MK Torinus.

 

The commitment required for these clubs vary. Some clubs, like Robotics, require regular attendance and travel for competitions. However, Torinus says, “any OHSer can participate in QLS as much or as little as they want to.” Members can attend or host as many meetings as they like, or simply participate in Pronto group chats.

 

For those who enjoy a bit of healthy competition, there are various competition clubs you can join. These clubs can give students a little bit more of a push, in addition to being a great way to make new friends. The Model U.N. is one example of a competition club offered at OHS. Member Sophia Horobetz describes it as, “An organization where students represent members of the United Nations and debate global issues. Students act as delegates, research a country’s positions, and work together to form solutions at conferences.”

 

These clubs can be more intimidating considering the competitive aspect. However, club members seek to counter this by creating a welcoming environment. For example, Horobetz says, “Model UN is a fun but academic way to spend your time,” and the competitive environment has allowed her to “Gain confidence and concision in my speaking and thinking.”

 

Furthermore, members of clubs like Model UN attend in-person conferences and competitions, which are great opportunities to bond with OHSer’s beyond virtual club meetings. There are a wide variety of competitive clubs, such as Math Competition Club for both middle and high school.

 

If you’re looking for a much more relaxed way to engage with your peers, circles are a perfect option. Circles are focused on particular hobbies or interests, are student led, and require very little to no commitment.

I find that it’s so much easier to run clubs on an online school at OHS. I think just because OHS just really makes it so easy to market your circle and it’s really easy to reach out to everyone through things like pronto chat groups.

— Georgia Childers

Georgia Childers, a co-leader of the Taylor Swift Fan Circle, aims to “Create a community where people could reach out in a non-academic setting, so it would be very clear from the start that all of the people in this club are friends.”

 

Online extracurriculars tend to be a big adjustment for new students, as OHS organizations can be vastly different from establishments at Brick & Mortar schools. For example, Childers says when it comes to organizing, “I find that it’s so much easier to run clubs on an online school at OHS. I think just because OHS just really makes it so easy to market your circle and it’s really easy to reach out to everyone through things like pronto chat groups.”

 

Further, the flexible nature of an online community means that people across the world can get together outside of class to chat about a shared passion. Torinus loves how “QLS is deeply accessible and doesn’t require a huge commitment, and that’s been one of the most beautiful aspects of organizing in digital space.”

 

The main piece of advice from students involved in clubs is to just go for it! Childers says, “At SOHS people are so welcoming and sweet and nice and everybody’s really just looking to make friends.”

 

Due to heavy coursework, it is wise to try out a few clubs to determine which you are most interested in and will realistically have time for. “If you find it intimidating to go to meetings, maybe just join a few group chats and get to know people first.” says Torinus.

 

In the end, clubs are here to enrich your experience at OHS. If you find yourself overwhelmed with the endless array of clubs to choose from, Horobetz advises to “take a deep breath and make sure you know your academic and personal interests. That way, you can find a club that personally suits you.”

 

A club is likely a right fit “if you feel like you can be yourself and grow as a human being,” says Torinus.

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