How to make the most of the Club Fair

picture of the extracurricular bazaar

Throughout my 3 years at Yale, I’ve been to 3 separate club fairs- all hosted in different locations and/or platforms. From attending the club fair as a prospective new member to manning a booth, and just passing by for nostalgia, weaving through crowds of students has given me valuable insight on making the most of the club fair.

Yale’s annual club fair (its official name is Extracurricular Bazaar) usually takes place after the first week of school, during or after brunch time. Although the club fair was held outdoors on Old Campus last year, it was held indoors in Commons this year. The event is always packed and can be overwhelming for a new first-year studnet. Here are my tips on making the most of your club fair:

1. Sign up for as many mailing lists as possible. Although you may be unsure about joining a club, the club fair is a great way to get introduced. While you could always unsubscribe to mailing lists, tracking down people to contact when you want to join a club later in the school year is more effort than expected.

2. Go to the club fair with friends. Like any situation, having friends around makes the experience better. While clubs are a great way to meet new people, signing up for clubs you and your friends are both interested in allows you to have a familiar face when joining a club. Thus, this eases the fear or uncertainty of meeting so many new people at once.

3. Do not be intimidated by application-based clubs. From acapella rush, professional clubs, and other performance clubs, it is common for students to apply or audition to join clubs at Yale. Even if it is intimidating, know that you are just as qualified as the other students applying, and don’t be afraid to shoot your shot.

4. There is more to Yale than clubs. If you are not particularly drawn to the clubs, don’t fret. Yalies are also involved with undergraduate research, working student jobs, affinity groups, and even their residential college.

5. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. The purpose of the club fair is so that students are introduced to the clubs available for undergraduates. Although it may be difficult to ask questions with so many students gathering around different booths, the students manning the booth are there to help prospective members.

The club fair doesn’t have to be stressful. Most importantly, don’t forget to take advantage of the free candy that the clubs are giving out!

picture of the Yale Student Mental Health AssociationMy friend Peyton’s club!