Required Reading 2018
Article Image
David Brann /

Just because you’re not on the football team doesn’t mean you can’t get involved with athletics at Columbia. In fact, it’s extremely easy to join a club or an intramural team. There are dozens of different teams, each of which has different time commitments and practice schedules. Before you join one, however, there are a few things you should consider.

Time commitments

While some teams only practice once or twice a week (club tennis, for instance), many teams require some serious commitment—the sailing team, for example, practices up to four times a week. When looking to join a team, be sure to consider if you can balance it with classes, your social life, jobs, and extracurriculars. Be sure to only commit to the team if you know you can actually be there when needed. You don’t want to be a flake (God forbid). Another thing to keep in mind is that many teams compete with groups from other colleges, so be sure you can manage to go away for a weekend or evening every now again.


Is anything in college free? No, not really—and sports are no exception. Most club sports teams charge more than $75 a semester. These fees usually go toward renting out training and practice facilities, so they are for a good cause, but they may put a dent in your wallet. Be sure that you intend to commit to the club team that you join because there is literally nothing worse than wasting money (especially when textbooks come at $200 a pop).

Prior experience

Most club and intramural teams at Columbia proudly state that they accept athletes from all backgrounds, but your own skill level is still something to consider. You may find yourself competing against students with much more experience than you, or vise versa. This can be a great opportunity to learn and grow, but it can also be a bit disheartening. So we suggest being mindful of your athletic strong suits and past experiences with sports when choosing a team, but don’t let that stop you from trying something new.

Interested in joining a club sport or intramural team when you get to campus? Check out the intramural and club sports page, and don’t be afraid to reach out to the officers of each team with any questions you may have.

Remember to like our Facebook page, follow us on Instagram at @cuspectrum, and sign up for our summer newsletter to stay up to date on all of our Required Reading Content.

Interested in joining Spec when you get to campus? Find out more at!

columbia barnard nsop new york city athletics sports
From Around the Web