The Perks of Getting Involved in Extracurricular Activities

By: Coach Chelsea After-school activities and volunteer work can take up quite a bit of your time, but they can be well worth it! Having a social life is important, of course, but preparing for your future has definite long-term benefits. So, how can extracurricular activities prepare you for your future? Let’s find out!   Joining extracurricular activities is a great way to explore your interests. Trying different activities gives you a better idea of which careers may be a good fit for you, especially if you’re undecided. Special-interest clubs can be really helpful in finding your niche. For example, if you’re interested in the medical field, joining an organization such as HOSA will allow you to gain more knowledge of the field and determine if you could see yourself committing to its requirements. Other popular special-interest clubs are school newspaper, music groups, or student government. By participating in extracurricular activities, you’re less likely to get stuck in a career that you dislike!   Colleges also look at your involvement in extracurricular activities. There may even be times when the admissions committee has narrowed it down to you and another potential candidate, and your involvement could be the make-or-break factor! Colleges also like to see that you held a position of leadership within a club or organization because student leaders make valuable additions to their campus. Leadership positions can be stepping stones to even more responsibilities in college clubs and organizations. Moreover, colleges are often impressed by unique activities such as competitive fencing or kayaking because they want to incorporate diversity into their campus, so try thinking outside of the box when choosing your involvements. If you need some ideas, clients can contact the CAA Coaches and non-clients should speak with their high school counselor.   Extracurricular activities could pay off, literally! Some scholarships require or consider the level or type of involvement as a part of their selection criteria. It’s always a good idea to review scholarship qualifications well in advance to ensure that you cover all of your bases. A common misconception is that scholarships only consider a student’s GPA and test scores. Knowing that there is more to the selection process gives you an opportunity to be proactive and get more involved to enhance your chances of receiving these types of scholarships.   Getting involved is also a great way to develop soft skills. Soft skills include communication skills, listening skills, teamwork, and many other qualities. Community service and part-time jobs are great ways to hone these skills in real-world settings. Check out the skills most relevant to the careers you are interested in, and begin practicing them in your everyday life.   Whether you’re volunteering at your church, working a part-time job, or participating in a school club, your hard work is not going to waste. There are many opportunities available that will pay off in the long run. If you’re currently involved in extracurricular activities, then keep up the good work! If not, it’s never too late! Contact the CAA Coaches with any additional questions you have concerning your extracurricular activities.