{shortcode-564b5d8150ba14fb71d164c59c06d4ebe397fbbf}Comping season — or frenzy, since that feels more fitting — is in full swing, with a million clubs begging you to join their mailing list or run for their board or pretty please drop your resume. Amid all these choices, narrowing down your list of extracurriculars can feel daunting, verging on impossible. It’s ever so easy to convince yourself, “Oh, I can do just one more club,” or to let yourself believe that another student, maybe a year older than you (if that), holds the keys to your future. Decision paralysis is real, as is the debilitating (though slightly irrational) fear of “wasting” your Harvard education. There are no right choices, and perhaps that’s the most terrifying thing of all. But deciding your extracurricular future doesn’t have to be as difficult as it feels at first flush (or first rush, if Greek life is more your style); with these tips under your belt, finding your way to a balanced yet fulfilling life outside of class should be as easy as pressing “read all” on your email spam.

Only comp clubs you think you would enjoy being in. This might seem obvious but think about it: will each and every one of the clubs on your roster actually make you happier? If the answer is no, you might want to reevaluate. Of course, there are some clubs that will provide you with a non-negligible opportunity for skill development, but no process of growth is meant to be painful to the extreme. Clubs are meant to be fun — like Flyby! — not taxes on your mental well-being.

Make a list of every club you have even a 1 percent interest in joining. Sit down and really consider the possibility of your life in each one of those organizations. Face the reality that you probably don’t have the time to do everything. Cross out as many as you can. And then rank the ones that remain. Cross out some more. Narrow it down until you limit your list to whichever nebulous number of commitments you have determined you can handle, and then maybe narrow it down some more.

Please, please do not comp a club just because you feel like you should. Don’t comp a club because it is the “done thing,” because everyone is trying it, or because your friends want you to throw your proverbial hat in the ring. Social obligation and pressure, in the right (honestly limited) context, might provide you with valid motivation to join a club, but this should never be the only reason. Your suitemate, your parents, and that one really annoying kid in section (why are you listening to their club advice, again?) aren’t signing up for hours of work when you type your name in that Google Form, so your desires matter many times more than their opinions. Put yourself first.

Find a fam in your club community. Forming friendships within a club setting can make your club tasks more enjoyable, and the people you meet when comping a club can tell you more about the personality of a student org than you think. (Case in point: the girls in my Flyby comp class are still some of my favorite people on earth = Flyby is the best club on campus. Come on, give me a prize, my logic is flawless.)

Look into the comp process before you get in line to sell your soul. In the wise, wise words of a previous Blog Chair, comp is “annoying but just something you have to do.” Still, I find that the comp process for a club is often very indicative of your club experience; the tasks you’re asked to perform while comping are often mirror images of those you’ll be required to do as a full-fledged member. In other words, one of the best signs that a club is the right place for you is genuinely enjoying comp.

You might not recognize this, but you will have more than one chance to comp a club (or to comp clubs, period). Freshman (or sophomore) fall does not have to be a time of crazed application writing and comping, followed by entry into clubs that you will stick with until you graduate. The process of joining clubs is more cyclical than it is linear. You can join clubs even after fifty percent of your undergraduate education has passed, and you might be all the better for it. It’s okay to take things slow.

Believe in yourself. One common mistake many people make when joining clubs is applying for anything and everything under the assumption of rejection, but not shooting your shot can be just as significant an error. Some comps are competitive. Some clubs will reject you. And that’s okay. But the fear of rejection, that specter of competition, doesn’t have to keep you from trying for a spot in a club that you know you would love. Who knows? You just might make it in. (After all, you made it into Harvard.)

You know, at the end of the day, there are no right choices. You are uniquely you, and your final list of extracurricular entanglements is likely to be equally as singular. There is no perfect path to success in these hallowed halls, just one undeniable truth: Flyby is the best club on campus. So…COMP FLYBY.