The Bigfoot Club

Members from Virginia Tech's Bigfoot Club on a hike, Feb. 8 2020

Arriving on campus for the first time as a freshman can be stressful for a multitude of reasons, so keeping yourself busy is key to settling into a healthy routine. In order to get into this new college lifestyle, Virginia Tech provides its students with plenty of opportunities outside the classroom such as concerts on the Drillfield, intramural sports and especially attending the various sports teams’ games to root on your fellow Hokies.

Finding friends early on at Virginia Tech is something that many freshmen stress over. When students rely primarily on making friends by random chance in the dorms or during class, it can be challenging to find people who share your same interests — one of the most important components of a strong friendship. This is why Virginia Tech’s clubs and organizations are the most important thing someone can join during their first year in Blacksburg. 

The opportunities for meeting people are endless, as there are hundreds of clubs and organizations for students to join, ranging from academic interest clubs to sports clubs to recreational clubs like the Bob Ross club, which is great for students with a passion for painting. Interested in nature and animals? There are clubs for that as well, including a “Squirrel Watching Club.” In a school that has over 30,000 students, there is something for everyone. 

Freshman year can be difficult due to the dramatic lifestyle change that is the transition from high school to college. In high school, many of us led very structured lives and if you were involved in extracurriculars, you likely had very little free time. This is not the usual case in college. Students often have ample free time and full discretion to spend it how they please, which means students will have to consider how they manage their time — something that clubs and organizations can help with. Joining Men’s Club Basketball forced me to improve my time management skills, as we had practice two to three times a week and I needed to make sure to get my work done beforehand.  

Alumnus Howard Dunleavy was formerly involved in the Bigfoot Club where members are dedicated to hiking and finding new trails across the New River Valley. Dunleavy recently completed his environmental science degree at Virginia Tech. 

“I definitely think Bigfoot Club has given me a new means to make friends I may not have met otherwise,” Dunleavy said. “There is no shortage of options when it comes to clubs at (Virginia) Tech.”

Meeting friends early on in your freshman year can really help settle you in and make you feel right at home. For students like Dunleavy, joining clubs helped him make connections with other students and to enjoy his life in Blacksburg more. 

Some clubs and organizations at Virginia Tech can be used for resume boosters for later on in life; for example, the Accounting Society at Virginia Tech can be useful for business accounting students hoping to connect with potential future employers. There are also clubs that allow students to further their passion for their major outside the classroom such as the Economics Club and the Biochemistry Club.

For those interested in leadership, there are clubs and organizations that offer students the opportunity to climb the ladder and obtain positions of leadership: members of the Men’s Club Baseball team can run for President and Treasurer, for example. This is not only impressive to have on your resume but a valuable way to learn how to command a room and run an organization. 

Many clubs and organizations at Virginia Tech offer opportunities for travel around the state and country. Clubs like the Snow Club give students the availability to travel with friends to Snowshoe, West Virginia, for snowboarding and skiing. The Competitive Cheerleading team even travels all the way to Daytona Beach, Florida. 

My freshman year, I was lucky to have a roommate and members of my dorm who shared similar interests to myself, but joining the Men’s Club Basketball team played a large role in helping me to make friends outside of my dorm or classes. In club basketball, we have also been able to travel to several East Coast colleges and universities to play, which is something I would never have been able to do if I hadn’t taken a leap of faith three years ago. Being involved in a Virginia Tech club really helped me with my transition into college, and I highly recommend you do the same. 

While it is possible to find long-lasting friendships in the classroom or by pure happenstance, being part of groups that share your specific interests allows students to enjoy their passions in-depth. Take advantage of the massive population at this university to find people who you can really connect with, because these connections can make your experience as a Hokie truly fulfilling. 

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