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Five clubs for the spring semester

After a much-needed winter break, students return to the University of Maine for the Spring 2024 semester. The spring semester provides a fresh start for many students, whether it be goals for the new year or the opportunity to join new clubs. The Spring 2024 semester, in particular, has a host of clubs for those wanting to participate in a club that interests them.

For many college students, clubs remedy the stress of homework assignments and projects that keep piling on as the semester progresses or even as a location where they can feel safe and get to know students with similar interests. Clubs can break new grounds for students’ education and, if given enough support, can act as a means for students to grow and evolve their skills in a given field.

One example, specifically for women studying business management or finance, is the Women in Business Organization. This club, as part of the Maine Business School, aims to empower women through the field of business, from education, networking and leadership skills. The organization also strives to help women succeed post-graduation, with a focus on how to apply skills directly in the workplace. Meetings are held every Wednesday at 5 p.m. in the DPC building.

College clubs are a perfect opportunity for people with special interests to gather together. One club that started last semester is the Birding Club, which hosts meetings every Thursday at 5:30 p.m. in Nutting Hall 218. The club allows for both novice and experienced birders to gather together.

The Birding Club hosts organized bird walks around the UMaine campus every weekend, weather permitting, and various bird-related activities, such as art and trivia nights. Even for those who are completely alien to the concept of birding, the welcoming atmosphere of the club is enough to be enticed.

Students passionate about animals and livestock may consider joining the Maine Animal Club, which meets at the Witter Farm Classroom on Tuesdays at 5 p.m. This club allows members to educate themselves about various animals, livestock and agriculture. The club raises awareness of animal welfare and the importance of proper animal treatment. Maine Animal Club opens up an opportunity for students who want to get involved in this field.

Some students join clubs as an avenue for self-improvement or to improve one’s physical health. Various clubs are geared toward Maine’s athletes, with the Maine Outing Club (MOC) being a noteworthy example. Compared to other athletic or sports-related clubs, the MOC can be physically demanding at times, with outdoor weekend outings such as backpacking, hiking and skiing. Because winter sports are especially accessible during the spring semester here at UMaine, those interested in skiing or snowboarding will find the MOC an exciting opportunity.

While athletic clubs initially turn some people off due to the difficulty of learning a new athletic activity, some clubs can be enjoyed at even a beginner level. An example of this lies with the Bikepacking Collective. Bikepacking is loading up hiking necessities onto an individual bike and traveling long distances by bike. Bikepacking Collective is accessible to newcomers who are interested, with group rides taking place on weekends. This club aims not only to educate people on bike repairs for optimal bike-packing travel but also to allow members to rent out bikes provided by the collective. The Bikepacking Collective currently hosts meetings on Thursdays at 5 p.m. in Stevens Hall 155.

Returning to school for the spring semester may leave students feeling weird. Seasonal depression is especially prevalent during the beginning months of the spring semester. While some may find adjusting to days with shorter hours of sunlight difficult, being active in any given community can help mitigate that struggle. The wildly diverse clubs and organizations at UMaine allow students to explore fields of interest but ultimately contribute to a greater purpose of providing a sense of community. Joining clubs can create a more connected and communal university, whether for each new passing semester or for connections that last a lifetime.

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