School Is Not Classes Only: Clubs Are Important, Too
Drawing by Grecia Bartolo
By Solange Francois Schools in the United States are a lot more than books and studying. They are also a chance to get involved in leadership and sports activities. But when I first came to this country, I didn't know anything about that.
When I was in Haiti, I never joined any club because there weren't so many of them. The only ones were a few sports teams and dance teams.
When I came here, my expectation was to go to school and earn good grades. In my first year here, I went home right after school. In my sophomore year I thought I had to challenge myself by trying new things. The most important thing I had to do was to overcome my shyness. I started to realize that school is not only about earning good grades, it's about being part of an activity, too. One day, when I went to the Media Center with my friends, Ms. Madden, the sponsor of the Spirit Club, started to talk to us about the purpose of the club. We were interested, so we joined the club together. I was with my friends so I didn't have to think about joining the club by myself.
My first year wasn't so great because I didn't speak English well enough to participate in the conversation when we were having a meeting. I never said anything, even if I thought I had good ideas in my mind. I thought that the kids would laugh at me if I spoke. It was not only because I didn't speak English well. I was so shy. I had to overcome my shyness, too. In my junior year my English was getting better so I joined other clubs such as Caribbean Culture Club, French Club, and the Sign Language Club. I was happy because finally my English was good enough that I could share my feelings.
I think it's a good thing to be part of a club because we need to know what's out there. Life is not only about books. We need some time off, too, to be active and stay away from trouble.
By being a part of some clubs I developed different talents and learned new things about myself. I've learned how much I enjoy working with people.
I've also learned I can overcome my biggest fear Ð my shyness. The clubs also helped me to talk because I couldn't stay quiet at all the time. So I had to speak my voice, which I did, and I'm very glad that I did.
To end my little story, I would like to encourage all students, especially ESOL students, to join a club. It will help you to learn English and you will meet people who will help you practice your English. If you are shy like I was, ask you friends to go along with. I promise you won't regret it.