Outside of the realm of academics, there are a number of ways to engage with your school community. At the start of each school year, clubs and extracurricular activities begin drawing in new recruits. Sports, the school newspaper, musical theatre, and language and science clubs to name a few all vie for students’ attention and it’s tempting to sign up for every opportunity that presents itself. It is, after all, a great thing to be well-rounded but is the stress of balancing too many activities with your schoolwork worth the accomplishments on your resume? Here is how to make the best of the choices presented to you as well as your limited time.
First, take a moment to assess each extracurricular activity available and only select the ones that truly interest you and that you can envision yourself taking part in and committing to for the duration of the school year. Now is not the time to go club-happy and sign up for every activity on sight or to show up at every first meeting only to vanish at the next. At the same time, keep your options open and look into a small but diverse variety of activities if possible in order to stay versatile.
Once you have a list of a few extra-curricular activities, it’s time to whittle it down even further by prioritizing the clubs that will benefit you the most where building skills and expertise are concerned. Sign up for that sports team so you’ll stay in shape and learn to be a team player. Stick to the school newspaper so you’ll be able to hone you writing or photography skills in addition to staying well-informed. Your choices should serve multiple purposes that are both passionate and practical but if you chance upon an extracurricular you absolutely cannot pass up, you can hold onto it but be sure to include another that covers functional ground.
At this stage, you should be left with one to three extracurricular activities. From then on, the standard procedure proceeds as normal: do more research on these clubs, attend the first meeting and hopefully stay for the rest of the year, get involved in regular activities, and actively participate. As for the other extracurricular activities still available, zip, zero, nada — don’t look any further. Don’t even attend additional meetings that could possibly sap up precious spare time that could be directed into finishing schoolwork or resting after an exhausting day. If you are curious about other opportunities, ask a friend or fellow classmate about the club’s first meeting or email the team or club coordinator for more details.
The greatest challenge of taking part in extracurricular activities is striking a balance between your academic workload and your new obligations to your teams and clubs. For this, it is crucial to develop a schedule to accommodate each task, meeting, and project. Set yourself deadlines by which to complete your work, reminders to keep up with your extracurricular activities, and time to rest and relax and you should be all set to take on the school year, inside the classroom or out.