Getting into university and getting work once you have finished school is very competitive. What can you do to make yourself stand out from the crowd?
You can participate in extracurricular activities. Participating in extracurricular activities means you go above and beyond the requirements of school.
You might have after school activities like shooting hoops with your friends, but that wouldn’t be considered extra curricular.
What makes after school activities extracurricular is that they require a regular time commitment and initiative, like starting up a student newsletter, playing on a sports team or taking an online course in biology.
This includes work, whether it is part-time, or an internship, that shows you can handle both school and work, and their responsibilities. Also, volunteering through a religious organization or a non-profit shows how committed you are to community, and how you give back.
There are benefits to extracurricular activities. Here are five benefits:
1. Discover Interests and Expand Your Perspectives
The more activities you try, the more you get an opportunity to explore a variety of interests and even discover some you didn’t know you had.
The more interests you explore, the more your world view expands.
2. Higher Self Esteem
Mastering new skills and achieving success by working hard at something you’re passionate about without having to worry about grades helps to bolster self confidence.
In addition, you get to do something different besides school, which is like getting a break from school.
3. Master Life Skills
With extracurricular activities, you can master “real world” skills, including: Goal setting, prioritization, analytical thinking, problem solving, leadership, teamwork, time management and public speaking.
You can also learn about how a particular industry works.
4. Networking Opportunities
Extracurricular activities provide a good opportunity to make friends and expand your social networking, which will make things easier when you’re looking for a job.
5. Adds Dimension to Resumes and Applications
If you are just entering the workforce and you don’t have a lot of experience, hiring managers can more easily assess your abilities and work ethic from your extracurricular activities.
For example, that debate team you signed up for shows that you have public speaking experience, and because you were a part of a team, that you work well with others.
If you plan on getting into a university in the U.S. or the U.K., you pretty much have to have extracurricular activities, showing that you’ve done more than just the minimum in your intended area of study.
At the very least, if you want to major in something like computer science, then being a part of a coding club at school would greatly increase your chances of being accepted.
Extracurricular activities reflect your personality – what you’re passionate about, and what you are interested in.
Some qualities they reveal are how much you want to be involved in community, how much you want to help people, and your sense of responsibility and time management.
Extracurricular activities can be fun, and can be of great benefit, too!