Extra-Curriculars: Prepare for School by Doing What You Love
Taking part in clubs, athletics, and other activities is as important as getting good grades.
Meeting admission requirements for your dream school can be extremely stressful. Extra-curricular activities are a great way to pursue your passion, de-stress, and raise your chances of getting that acceptance letter.
While grades can be crucial for many programs, universities and colleges also want to know what kind of person you are. When there are lots of applicants with comparable academic averages, universities look beyond your grades. This often means seeking students with volunteer or work experience, as well as a well-rounded personal and social life.
As a member of my school's swim team, I know the fun of participating in teams and clubs. Though swimming is largely an individual, rather than co-operative sport, I still feel a great sense of community as part of my team. Between the new friendships, cheering on your teammates, and chanting your school's song, being part of a team provides an incredible camaraderie and sense of belonging.
Not interested in sports? There's still plenty of options! Many extra-curriculars are not athletic. Maybe you're more interested in a chess club, trivia club, or Model UN. Extra-curriculars can be a healthy and fun way to exercise your brain without all the stress of studying.
Benefits of School Clubs
Many clubs in high school run during lunch hours and before or after school, which means minimal studying time is lost — so you can still achieve your academic goals! Taking part in extra-curriculars — academic, athletic, or otherwise — helps your in-school academic performance as well. They can boost your motivation, concentration and overall mood. Clubs can also help you make a difference in the community or world around you. You might be unhappy with the way things at your school run, but student council is the perfect way to implement your ideas in the school. Or maybe you hold strong beliefs on saving the earth, so you might join an environmental club. No matter who you are, there are clubs to suit your personality.
If your school doesn't have the extra-curriculars you're interested in, start a club of your own! Ask teachers or staff at your school about starting up a club. Chances are, if you work for it, you can create your own extra-curricular opportunities — plus "club founder" looks great on an application or resumé.
Lastly, another great benefit to extra-curriculars is the scholarship opportunities. Extracurricular activities can open the door to scholarships you may not have otherwise qualified for. Many awards desire community involvement, so you'll have a leg up.
So, what are you waiting for? Get moving on the activities you love!