How to Make the Most of College Extracurriculars

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3 min read

College can be overwhelming. On an average day, you might need to balance your courses and extracurricular activities, a part-time job, and various social commitments. In the midst of all this stress, you might wonder if extracurricular involvement is truly so important. It is, but ensuring that you maximize your participation is just as critical. Here’s how you can make the most of college extracurriculars:

Choose activities carefully

It’s easy to overcommit when you’re faced with a barrage of exciting choices. While extracurricular activities are a wonderful way to meet new people and to strengthen your resume, you can become too involved. Think about your interests and your other time commitments before you sign up for any activities.

Try something new

An important part of the college experience is expanding your horizons. Use your extracurricular involvement to find an activity that you have always been curious about, and then try it in a safe space. Challenge yourself personally and professionally while you are easily able to do so. Music is a great extracurricular activity that many people don't think of. 

Become a leader

In order to make the most of your college extracurriculars, consider becoming involved in club leadership. However, avoid taking on too many leadership positions – focus on leading just one or two groups to maximize your experience and minimize the risk of burnout.

Serving as a club leader is a great way to improve your leadership abilities, which employers increasingly value. As a leader, you’ll take ownership of certain aspects of your extracurricular activity. You’ll be responsible for making important decisions, initiating change, and mentoring other club members – and you can add the experience to your resume! 

Step outside campus

Volunteering in the community is a fantastic way for college students to further connect to their home away from home. When choosing college extracurriculars, select activities that will allow you to experience your city or town in a number of different ways. Perhaps you become involved in the community by tutoring students at a local elementary school or working in a food pantry. No matter your form of involvement, you can experience life outside your school, which can be a refreshing change.

Community involvement has other benefits too. For example, you might make connections that lead to internships or jobs, or you might meet people from diverse backgrounds. You'll likely find that this networking opportunity is difficult to replicate, as well as invaluable.

Create your own opportunities

When participating in college extracurriculars, try to open yourself up to opportunities that would otherwise be unavailable to you. In other words, don’t be afraid to use these extracurricular activities to your advantage. For instance, ask the botanical garden where you volunteered if it is in need of a summer intern. Or ask the city council member who you worked with to write you a letter of recommendation.

In short, ensure that you are benefiting from the college extracurriculars that you’re involved with. Extracurriculars can boost your college success!If you are assisting your community, finding personal fulfillment, and experiencing personal and professional development, keep doing what you’re doing!