The Power of Clubs: Friends or Family?

When I began high school, I knew that I wanted to make a club for playing tabletop games, mostly to just hang out with friends. From there, I went to join theatre groups, our school’s GSA (Gender Sexuality Alliance) and numerous other groups, and I learned one thing from that experience: how special these groups can be. I might have struck out my first few times, but the moment that I joined our school’s GSA, the group that is a safe space for LGBTQ youth, I learned just how powerful a club’s familial feeling could be.

There’s this idea that a person only gains as much as they put into something, you get what you give, and nowhere have I found this to be more true than in a school club. The more people you meet, the more time you spend learning about them and about the group, and the more time you spend as a part of that club, the closer into the family you get. 

As a member of GSA, I started by helping out with presentations and with the dance that they organized, the Rainbow Rave. By junior year, I regularly attended meetings and at the behest of the previous presidents of the club, I took a position as vice president of the club. From that moment onwards, I was able to connect with the group more, and I started to see them as a family more than I saw them as friends. I was with club members for the highs and I helped them through their lows, as they helped me through my own. I truly received as much, if not more, than I gave because these people were just so special.

However, the school’s GSA wasn’t the only club where I found a family. There was one other sect that brought me that special kind of joy: theatre. Specifically, both the group I made and the group I joined at Stamford High provided me with a special kind of love that I think everyone should feel. From the intimate rehearsals between five or six people hammering out a scene to the massive ensemble affairs of a musical, these days spent with each other were special in a way like nothing else. 

So why say all of this, besides the fact that I’m a senior on her last week reminiscing about the good ole days? Because I want to impress upon anyone who reads this that the most special and important thing a person can do in school is to join a group of people because that group will be more special than you could ever imagine at a first glance. I want people to get to experience the same joy and wonder that I was lucky enough to live in. I hope that if nothing else, this will propel you as a reader to join a group and find a family like I did.