What is it like to start a club?
Hello everyone. I am currently a sophomore, headed into junior year. Ever since the pandemic struck and having to adjust to distance learning, I have had a lot of time on my hands and didn't utilize it productively. I joined two clubs this year, but I did not even reach 10 hours of volunteering in both of them. BUT as I mentioned above with having a lot of time, I decided to learn about magic. I learned sleight of hand, gimmicks, getting into the spectator's head, manipulation, and etc. I don't consider myself an expert nor beginner. However, I researched about my high school and found out that there is no Magic Club, or Illusion Club. Thus, I have been thinking a lot about whether I should make one or not. I have shown my math teacher and my peers during class on zoom of what my favorite tricks are. My tricks have impressed my math teacher so much, that she openly said that she was willing to be my club advisor, which made me feel so flustered and joyful. The reason why I wanted to start a club, was because I want to make it on my school page, yearbook, and possibly make it somewhat like community service. For example, when I have taught enough to the people, we could visit hospitals, patients, or classrooms to give them a boost of serotonin and help cope with their stress or depression. However, I am hesitant of starting the club for numerous reasons.
First off, I am scared because of how the club will work. Will I be the only one who will be teaching the people that will join? Will I only be the person that knows the basics of magic?
Second, will there be enough people that will join the club and making it successful?
Third, is starting a club all about full commitment and very tedious, as well as managing it? Plus, if it was successful will I be funding the club with my own personal money for the playing cards, sharpie markers, gimmicks, etc.? Anything will help! Please let me know!
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Hi, Kaisan! This is a really cool idea, and I'm glad you asked about it. Starting a club can be exciting and fulfilling, and it sounds like you already have some support for it. Of course, there are certainly challenges associated with this kind of endeavor.
Regarding how the club will work, if you are starting it from scratch, this is largely up to you. I recommend taking a look at how other clubs at your school are run, asking your advisor for insight, and asking around to gauge interest in such a club -- maybe there are other magic-lovers at your school! It might help to have some goals already worked out when you try to build interest in your community (e.g. what kind of meetings would you have, would you do magic shows/community service/education, etc.) so that you can get people excited about more tangible aspects of the club.
If there is a dearth of interested people who are already magic-proficient, it will likely fall to you to do at least some of the instruction for beginners, though you can also get creative about this -- maybe there are some good instructional videos on the Internet and meetings can be focused on honing skills and practicing the trick in front of peers.
As for how popular the club will be, it can be difficult to get a new organization off the ground, especially when things are still largely virtual. I would try to get the word out in a few ways, including telling people directly, asking your advisor to mention it to her classes, or putting it in a school bulletin if you have one. It will help if you have a clear passion for it in your conversations with other people, and it will also help to have a clear plan (as I mentioned above) as well as room for flexibility.
In terms of the commitment, a new club can come with a lot of responsibilities. In addition to planning club activities, you (and your adviser and leadership) will need to think about recruitment and getting approval from your school (which may come with some amount of funding). The amount of work this entails will vary based on the requirements for your school, the amount of support you get from advisors/peers/administrators, how often you meet, and the kind of activities you want the organization to run/participate in.
Regarding funding, this is tricky to answer without knowing more about your individual setting and situation. Your school may have some funds allocated for student organizations. You may be able to source magic materials from other organizations you partner with (e.g. perhaps a community center will let you use magic materials if you are planning to do free magic shows for kids there).
The challenges associated with starting a club are definitely numerous, but they can be really worthwhile. If you love the organization and its mission, the experience can be really fulfilling, especially if you create something that outlasts your tenure at your school. From an admissions standpoint, starting a club based around an interest is a clear indication of your passion, and it is an impressive feat to create a club from scratch, which can be a boost for your application. Of course, this is all a matter of priorities -- how do you personally weight the pros and cons here? If magic is something you really love, this could be a truly rewarding experience. If its more of a passive and casual interest, perhaps there are community magic organizations outside your school that you could get involved with.
I hope this helps -- best of luck in your magic endeavors!
Trust me, taking initiative will always be rewarded. Whether it's with just a learning experience, something that catches the eye of someone with a new opportunity for you, or something that is successful and you can put on college applications, it will always be a good experience. Take it from someone who's in one of the most competitive districts, we have so many people applying to get clubs that the acceptance rates by our district for it is like 5-10%
Go for it!!!! Whether it becomes the most successful club at your school or nobody joins, hopefully it will give you something to take away from the experience.
Also, don’t be so hard on yourself! Lots of people have similar interests you just have to ask.
I’d recommend not making any large purchases etc. until you are more aware of how many people will join. Also, bake sales and such are very common for clubs to raise money.
Colleges will like you starting something new with your interests and you will have fun in a community of like-minded individuals with the same passion!
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