High school was jam packed for me. In addition to staying on top of my schoolwork, I participated in theater, played basketball, and helped plan a few senior events. I was also a member of several clubs. Before I left for college I started to wonder what life would be like without all of those clubs and activities that I had grown to love. I didn’t want those things to end. Luckily, when I got to Ithaca, I saw that they didn’t have to.
I loved being part of musicals in high school. At IC, you don’t have to be a music or theater major to take the stage. Students can audition for musicals and plays put on by the theater department or by student-run organizations like Triple Threat Theater and IC Players. Other options for spotlight lovers include the Comedy Club, the slam poetry club Spit That, and the Dance Team.
If you love to sing -- and not just in the shower -- you’ll find many opportunities to show off your voice. Singing clubs include Ithacappella, Premium Blend, VoiceStream, and Amani Gospel Singers. These a cappella groups perform throughout the year at different events both on and off campus. “We really get to know one another on our tour, which we typically go on during the first half of Thanksgiving break,” says Premium Blend member Daniella Goodman ’09. Tours allow the groups to travel beyond the Ithaca community, so everyone, not just fellow IC students, gets a chance to hear their music.
Do you love to play an instrument or would you like to learn how? It’s easy to take lessons with graduate students or with local alumni off campus (I’m currently doing the latter). If you already play an instrument but don’t want to make it your major, consider joining an extracurricular performance group like Ithaca’s Cello Choir. It’s open to anyone and consists of majors, nonmajors, and alumni. “The main goal is to provide a fun and musical experience for the players and to share our music with the college community and the surrounding Ithaca community,” says Laura Messina ’08, former president of the club.
Other instrumental clubs include Bell People (a bell-only musical group), Fife and Drums, and the Trombone Troupe. Okay, you may be thinking, ‘I don’t have a musical bone in my body, but I play a mad game of table tennis!’ For those who like playing sports but don’t want the stress of varsity play, there are tons of sports clubs you can join. Sports clubs come in three types -- competitive, performance, or recreation based -- and include everything from the equestrian team to ice hockey to the aforementioned table tennis. Journalism major Jessica Bachiochi ’09 plays club soccer. “People still want to win but it’s more fun than anything,” she says.
What if you don’t want anything to do with sports or performing? Ithaca has over 150 clubs and organizations, so there’s sure to be something that appeals to you. Clubs range from the cultural (French Connection) to the political (IC Republicans and IC Democrats) to the quirky (Do Anything Nice), and if you don’t see one you like, you can even start your own.
College is the perfect place to learn more about what you love and discover new talents and activities that you can be passionate about. Ithaca provides many avenues for you to explore. Take me for example. I’ve always wanted to play the violin. Recently I began to take lessons with an IC graduate. I practice every day for an hour or so. Even though I’m a senior writing major, I’ve finally been able to pursue my passion for music. So if you have a strong interest to pursue something -- anything -- outside of your major, go ahead and give it a shot. After all, learning and growing are what college is all about.
Originally published in Fuse: Part-time Passions.