College Extracurricular Activities
As you've probably discovered by now, there are more organizations, clubs, and activities on campus than you can possibly experience. At many schools, there is an on-campus organization, or at least a presence, for every conceivable activity, hobby, and interest.
So how in the world do you decide which of these organizations to join? And how do you determine how much time you'll have available to devote to such activity?
If you haven't done so already, stop by the dean's office and ask the receptionist there for a list of all the clubs, organizations, and activities that have "registered" on campus. The dean's office or, in some cases, some other campus office maintains this list in order to know what offerings are present on campus, but also because most if not all of these organizations typically look to the school for some type of funding every year. Take a look at this list and see what jumps out at you.
Some advice is warranted, though, as you look over this list.
Branch Out And Take Some Chances
Do not simply gravitate to the things you did in high school or to the hobbies and activities that you are "good at" or "have always done," without taking some time to reflect on what you're doing. College is your chance to reinvent yourself, to explore new things, and to learn about what motivates you. If you never leave your comfort zone, you'll never get a real sense of who you are. However, if you still love a particular activity that you engaged in during high school, you will probably be able to find and to easily step into the same activity in college. Our point here is simply to encourage you to take stock and make active decisions about what to pursue. There is a whole world of possibility awaiting you out there on campus.
"I love singing and always have and I did show choir in high school, so my auditioning for the TSU Showstoppers was an easy decision," Erika noted. "This was an elite group, and out of fifty or more people who auditioned, I was the only one chosen. That definitely boosted my confidence! We performed all over Tennessee."
"The single decision that I made as a freshman that constantly paid dividends for me was joining Speak of the Devil, Duke's male a cappella singing group," Chase noted. "Throughout my four years at Duke, my membership in Speak of the Devil was not only the hub of my friendships, but was also the way I defined myself. I took pride in my academic work, but I derived more satisfaction from singing with Speak of the Devil. I was able to record two CDs, sing at Duke basketball games, perform for thousands of my peers, and be surrounded by eleven guys who all shared those experiences. Last, being in a group like Speak of the Devil gave me a way to leave a positive mark at Duke. Thousands go to college and end up leaving the place four years later much the same place that they found it. Speak of the Devil, though, will exist long into the future and will always be shaped by the four years during which I was a member. Joining Speak of the Devil was something I knew I wanted to do when I arrived at Duke and it may have been the smartest thing I did in the four years I was there."
"I played several intramural sports and I was also very active in my residential college life," Tom added. "My participation in many of these activities was spurred on by the fact that my friends were doing them, but that was a deliberate choice of mine, and that's okay. The big thing to keep in mind is that all extracurricular activities contribute further to the social fabric that you're creating and that will impact your life forever. Always remember that building lifelong friendships is one of the most important consequences of college."
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