The importance of collegiate extracurricular involvement

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Sidney Li
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It is fairly known that academics plays a crucial role for graduating and applying for post-secondary routes; however, volunteering and participating in extracurricular activities has a hand in the application process too. Students are always told how important extracurricular involvement is throughout their high school and collegiate years. As classwork begins to mount, students may forget how valuable these voluntary acts are. Strong academia can only get a student so far. There is a plethora of benefits that extracurricular activities provide. 

Broadening Your Horizons

One benefit of extracurricular involvement is how it can broaden a student’s social circle as they will be surrounded by like-minded people that have similar interests. With that, the opportunity to create long-lasting friendships and socializing is inevitable. In the first semester of my freshman year, I applied to be an advocacy fellow with a local non-profit organization, Asian American Community Services. I also actively volunteered and engaged within my Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) scholars community. Through these clubs, I have made valuable friends that I can barely live without now. 

Building Relationships

Students can build professional and social relationships with their peers, professors, and advisors by engaging in extracurricular activities. These same people want others to strive, too. Whether the club that a student joins is a physical one or professional, it will help strengthen the student’s mind. For example, intramural sports trains a student to learn resiliency and collaboration with others that will be a major benefit in the workplace. A professional development club will allow students to practice public speaking along with training in their future professions. 

As I am a pre-dental student, I joined my university’s Pre-Dental student organization which allows undergraduate students to connect with faculty, professionals, and graduate students in the local area in a gamut of ways—from shadowing and working on research projects to applying for jobs within the dental field and studying for the Dental Admission Test. It has been so beneficial during my first year in college that these doors have been opened to me and my fellow peers through the Pre-Dental club.

Learning Something New

Another benefit of extracurricular involvement is how it will positively impact time management skills. Even though activities like these do add more responsibility to your plate, they can also train you for a more demanding schedule when you enter the workforce. Finding a balance between a variety of extracurricular activities while maintaining high grades and meeting deadlines forces student leaders to make priorities and become good time managers. Not only that, but extracurricular activities can allow a student to take their mind off from their rigorous coursework. Extracurricular activities that will be mentioned in resumes alongside academic achievements will demonstrate to future employers the work ethic the student has learned to maintain throughout their college years. 

College is a place for students to grow and learn for themselves. Students can utilize extracurricular activities to learn more about interests they’ve never before encountered, build their network, and learn employability skills. Good grades place a graduation cap on a student’s head; extracurricular activities allow students to flourish in the coming years after their college career comes to an end. All they have to do is take that leap of faith and take advantage of all their interests. Who knows what you’ll find within yourself?