The Impact of National Honors Societies

Lauren Jai, Features Editor

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With countless honor societies at PV High, most students are involved in at least one. Given that many students join these specialized honor societies, one has to wonder what the purpose of these are and why students join these clubs. Whether it’s an honor society for a language or for subjects like history and science, honor societies can be a great way to be involved in the school while only making minor commitments, as typically there are only a few requirements to be in an honor society. These small commitments can contribute to a positive change in the community and can be beneficial to students. Also, very occasionally do they involve in-school activities, such as festivals or spirit weeks.

However, honor societies are not that effective for college admissions if members are only involved in a few activities.

Members in honor societies, such as language societies, typically do not participate in many activities.

While some honor societies do engage in volunteering and meetings a few times a month, many honor societies only participate in a small event once or twice a year, do only a few community services per semester, and rarely meet up. However, larger honor societies like the official National Honors Society (NHS) do host larger events such as the Painted Turtle Walk.

“A nationally recognized, volunteer-based club like the NHS emphasizes leadership, academics and character in selecting inductees, and these are characteristics that colleges generally look for when they are recruiting. Simply being a member of the NHS, or even having a leadership role in any of the nationally recognized honor societies is really a non-factor in terms of ‘weight’ over other potential activities,” said College and Career Center director Joanne Lewis.

Students should not join honor societies for the purpose of “looking good” for college applications, but rather join because they truly enjoy.

“Students who are really motivated to invest the time and energy to grow a club or honor society and learn something, and bring something to that society, will reap the benefits in their own personal lives, as well as be able to authentically share their experiences on their college applications,” said Lewis.

Overall, being a member of an honor society can demonstrate one’s qualities, but the true importance is what a member contributes to the club.

“One doesn’t need to be a member of any club or society to embody leadership, scholarship and strong character—qualities that will always be important and stand out to colleges,” said Lewis.

If one joins a club because of his or her genuine interest in that particular subject and for the purpose of bringing upon a positive impact on a club, being part of an honor society proves beneficial for both the individual and the community.

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