Work on cool projects

A few days ago, I came up with a piece of advice: join the club that does stuff. Don’t waste your time with the “prestigious” society (unless it’s also does cool stuff). What stuff? Stuff that expands your skill set or helps your create something. The example I gave was to join a club that builds programs rather than a programming honor society.

I think it’s a good piece of advice. Why?

  1. You gain skills AND connections. The skills are something that you won’t gain in the average prestigious group, and you get the added bonus connections who are already working on the things you would like to do.
  2. You are already doing interesting things. People who do interesting things tend to gain power, but people with power might or might not start doing interesting things. If you want to do interesting things, you may as well cut the middle man and get started now.
  3. You build your resume with substantial projects. Typically, people say something about prestigious societies looking good on your resume. Do resume-builders really help your resume? It doesn’t seem to me to be true now, and I’m not sure if it ever was. It seems to me that it’s something that took hold as a results of college applications. Now, in college admissions and in job applications, taking the initiative to make substantial contributions to projects seems to be more important. I’m not sure about that, but it seems like it. It’s worth observing, at least.
  4. It’s more fun. Focus on a cool project, and enjoy your time in college. Don’t fracture your time with 5 different groups that each add little to your life.

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