3 Ways to Help Find and Balance Your Interests at Central


Hunterdon Central’s very own Garden Club daisy sale

The first thing that people tell you during your freshman year at Central is to get involved. I remember hearing it all the time, both from upperclassmen and teachers. Getting involved may seem easy, especially if you already know what you might be interested in – whether that might be in volunteering or social justice, sports or healthcare, and everything in between. With Central offering over one hundred various clubs and thirty-three sports, there is something for everyone.


However, finding that “something” can be challenging. Entering a high school as big as Central can be a completely new, intimidating experience. Hunterdon Central offers a variety of different activities to help create a diverse student population and to make sure that every student is represented. This being said, it can be difficult to balance everything, from sports, to clubs to academics. Here are three ways to help you find ways to get involved here at Hunterdon Central.


  1. Figure out what interests you.

This one may seem a little cliche, but with such a variety of clubs and sports, you should narrow down your interests and find things that encompass these. You might want to ask yourself some questions about whether you might want to join an extracurricular that is an extension of a school subject such as any Honors Societies, or maybe something more volunteer based such as the Interact Club or the Key Club. 


  1. Talk to friends, students, and teachers to see what they are part of or recommend.

This one may be especially good if there are clubs or sports that you may have never even heard about or considered. Upperclassmen are good to ask, as many have been in clubs for years and know a lot about various extracurricular activities offered at Central.


  1. Take a careful look at the time commitment. Make sure you can try to commit as much as you can to that extracurricular activity.

This is key, especially if you are involved in a school sport or in many other clubs. There are many clubs that meet every other week, or once a month, but there are some that do meet every week. Sports typically have practice every day, plus competitions, so that is something to take into consideration as well. 


Overall, no matter how you do it, the most important thing is to get involved. The Princeton Review states, “If you take on increasing responsibility and achieve success, your extracurricular involvement will not only help you get into college—it could even help you pay for college!” There are so many different clubs and sports, from Habitat for Humanity to Youth and Government. (And don’t forget our student newspaper, The Lamp, either!) It is important to be able to find a balance between extracurriculars and schoolwork, which may not always be easy. It might be better to prioritize certain clubs that you really enjoy, and to try to attend those meetings as much as you can. I would recommend making a list of clubs in order of which ones you value the most. It also may be helpful to have a planner, either online or a physical book, that you can use to write down your schedules. 


Clubs do also meet at the same block as tutorials, which makes it difficult for students who need to utilize that time period to go and meet with teachers. Academics and tutorials should be prioritized, but you should find your own balance as you go. A lot of finding your niche and schedule at Central is through trial and error. You may go to a club meeting and find that you do not enjoy it as much, which is completely okay. Try attending many different clubs to find one that you enjoy. 


Attending a school with such a variety of clubs can be stressful to navigate in the beginning. However, the variety of clubs and sports fosters diversity and inclusivity, and helps to unite the student body through common interests and passions. It helps build new friendships and encourages learning new things, and maybe even discovering something that you might come to love. However you choose to do it or whatever you choose to do, the most important thing is to get involved.