Student Life

Extracurricular Activities: Options & Advice

Diane Won

March 24, 2014

Extracurricular Activities: Options & Advice
Discover what you enjoy doing - and do it in your free time!
Every student has his or her own form of pizzazz. As individuals, whether known or not, everyone has hobbies and skills. Thus, most choose to take advantage of their likings or strengths to establish their own lives, bolstering relationships, not to mention, themselves by way of extracurricular activities.

What Exactly is an “Extracurricular Activity”?

To begin, extracurricular activities are unpaid activities not pertaining to ordinary school classes, within or out of school. Certain electives are not extracurricular activities, nor are jobs. Unlike theater class and Academic Decathlon, psychology class does not count as an extracurricular activity. On the other hand, school clubs and volunteer work are extracurricular activities.

Endless Options at School

1. Join clubs! Although a majority of schools have countless clubs, zero in on a couple of clubs and invest your energy into those clubs, by becoming one of the club’s leadership board or consistently participating in club events.
Put heart into your activities - DO NOT join anything and everything. DO NOT join a bunch of clubs merely to feel accomplished or to have a lot on your resume. Multiple kinds of clubs exist for a wide variety of student interests: ● Community volunteering clubs ● Scholarship clubs; acceptance by merit and exist for “prestige” ● School service clubs ● Special interest clubs If you wish to expand your horizons, form a club of your own. As the creator of a new club, you can pursue your passions more effectively and be a leader as well. 2. Creative minds and artsy folks alike can consider, band, chorus, art clubs and theater as popular choices. 3. Embrace school publications by becoming a part of your school newspaper crew, or the yearbook production team. 4. Take debate if you’re adept at arguing. 5. With student government, one can be in the know with school wide happenings and take on leadership as well as background roles. Often, the members of student government are in charge of overseeing events.
6. Pick a sport, if you prefer a more active undertaking. From basketball to swim, there is bound to be one that suits your style. Moreover, sports can alter lives. You may find yourself a newly discovered expertise. Then come the college invitations, along with the scholarships.

External Influences

One ought to have a nice combination of school gigs in addition to outside world ventures. 1. Volunteer work. Getting involved with the community allows an individual not only to treasure his or her place of residence, but also to impact the lives of others. When you are volunteering, you are helping. You are doing something, no matter how insignificant your task may seem. Even your presence holds meaning, as you are there with a purpose. 2. Internships or job shadowing programs. Websites, like Fastweb, offer internships. Furthermore, see your high school. My high school allows sophomore and junior students interested in STEM careers the opportunity to work inside a gas company. 3. Get involved with groups at youth centers, shelters or local charities. 4. Create your own group, like a musical band or setting up a toy drive.

To Do or Not to Do

Picking extracurricular activities right for you can be difficult, as there are numerous choices to choose from. Tagging along with your friend might be an enjoyable idea; however, you might regret it in the long run. Select wisely. ● The key is to evaluate yourself.
Contemplate what you enjoy doing. Mull over your interests. Take time to: ● Imagine yourself involved in the action.
● Give thought to what preoccupations you already possess.

For example, should you engage yourself in volleyball when you regularly struggle to accomplish homework with debate and your weekly volunteer work? Let’s compare your activities to a delicious spread at an all-you-can-eat buffet. You cannot possibly consume it all – though you might like to try, you would get ill if you did! Pick what you relish most and what you can see yourself doing, albeit happily.

Life Management

Prioritize – it’s all about balance. Otherwise, you may become caught up in a whirlwind of too many activities. Don’t permit yourself to slip up on your school work due to your schedule, despite how hectic your schedule starts to be. There are two possible scenarios, either you will adjust into a convenient routine or you will mentally as well as physically break down because you cannot possibly handle all of your activities and schoolwork. You must prevent scenario two from happening. However, you are only human and can only do so much. If you undergo scenario two, the solution is to… ● Calm down.
● Reduce activity hours.
● Learn to ration your time.
● Make the most of the time you have available.
Don’t start slacking on your pastimes because school is looming over your head. It is very confusing because you know that your schoolwork should come first, while extracurriculars are valuable, too. Finding a healthy balance so that you are able to juggle activities and school is the best-case scenario because then you can ultimately pay equal amounts of attention to your success in both areas.

You’re the Boss

Stay in control, be on track with your responsibilities and consider your stance. Do enough for yourself, and only yourself. Remember, your extracurricular life is yours. Envying the extracurricular activities of fellow students will ruin you. What others are doing is what suits them. Colleges will appreciate your application as long as you do all that you can in your capacity to appear as a legitimate competitor. So do not overdo it. Additionally, you need not listen to critics and/or nosy people. Pave your own path and stick with it. Shun the pushover who lets others decide what is best. Extracurricular activities are how people spend their free time, building character. In this way, extracurriculars are critical to complete every student’s life. Simply, solely do what brings you joy - make the most of your free time with extracurricular activities you actually enjoy. But, always maintain balance. Dodge pitfalls in school. Above all, never lose focus.

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