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Incoming UGA freshmen are shown at the Freshman Orientation Organizations Fair at the Ramsey Student Center on the University of Georgia campus in Athens, Georgia, on Tuesday, June 7, 2016. The Organizations Fair gives freshmen the opportunity to take a first look at the myriad number of extracurriculars offered at the University of Georgia. (Photo/Casey Sykes, www.caseysykes.com)

It takes time to learn how many obligations one can put upon oneself to stay happy, healthy and functioning. Too many obligations and students become overworked. Too few and students find themselves bored, feeling like they’re wasting potential.

Finding the happy medium, especially for new students, proves to be quite the challenge. But student organizations offer a low-stakes way for students to experiment with their passions and skills while giving them room to work on effective time-management skills.

The University of Georgia offers more 700 student organizations, helping students suss out what they like and don’t like.

A student could go to an astronomy club, budokai lesson, comic book club and horticulture club in a way that allows anyone to dabble in interests without any commitment. If after one meeting a student decides that the organization offers nothing of interest, they can simply leave.

If students do stay in the organization, the organization works specifically toward university students to bolster their collegiate experience.

Since the organizations cater specifically to students, they often have meetings after most students finish classes. Many clubs offer lenient or no rules regarding regular attendance, so if a student needs to skip class to study, they may.

Student organizations also offer communities comprised solely from students, forming groups of peers with a common interest that fosters deeper relationships and friendships. To this end, many student organizations collaborate with one another, bringing students with similar interests together and helping both organizations.

Visiting organizations with similar interest may lead to the accumulation of many club memberships, but this too fits within the process of discovering oneself. Going to too many clubs, all of which may be interesting, forces students to realize their strongest passions and to focus on what they enjoy most.

The path to discovering one’s strongest passions twists and turns in unexpected ways, but student organizations allow students to sample many interests without committing to a class or career.

So if you’re a student, sign up for different listservs and talk to club representatives at involvement fairs. Take the time to involve yourself in new communities.

College offers little free time, so spend the moments you have learning about yourself because self-discovery carries more weight and importance than any classroom  — even if it offers no credits.

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