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Chosing your Extra Curricular Activities

 Christ College, Oxford

 Image © Simona Dumitru

Extra curricular activities have two benefits. Firstly, they can really help polish up a CV and help you secure that job or college place. In addition to that they can actually be… fun! A revolutionary concept, many people are just treating extra curricular activities as something that they have to do to get into the best colleges, but the idea is that you are supposed to do things that you enjoy.

Things to consider when choosing an extra curricular activity:

Is there anything you already do and enjoy that could be classed as an extra-curricular activity?
A lot of the time, we already do things that are considered extra curricular activities, and even better, enjoy them! Maybe you can step up existing activities and make them even more impressive. It’s not always necessary to take on more activities, just become more impressive at those you already do.

What do you enjoy?
The best starting point for extra curricular activities is to consider your existing interests. If you are interested in something, you will have a great existing knowledge base, something that can be a great help in getting involved in it. In addition to this, you may have existing contacts that will be able to point you in the right direction. Think about what you are interested in and then think what activities are related to it. E.g. Are you interested in the world of business and industry? Then start a business!


What do your career aspirations require?
If you have a potential career in mind, then there are extra curricular activities you could get involved in related to this that will help you build an understanding of that career, build your network and show your dedication to it. On top of this, the fact that you want to do something for a living would suggest that you enjoy it, so you are likely to have some fun as well. Think of your potential career and then consider opportunities related to it, for example, if you want to be a Journalist, pitch some freelance articles to some magazines or websites.

Some other words of wisdom and advice:

Consider how much time you have available
If you have a schedule that is packed full, you don’t want to be making demanding commitments. If you haven’t got the time to dedicate, but still want to get involved, either take light commitments time wise or don’t make any commitments at all, just find things you can do without dedicating yourself to it long-term. There is nothing worse than saying you can do something and either not doing it or doing a bad job because you did not have the time.

Don’t be confined by what is already available
Sometimes there are no activities available that take your fancy. Don’t just put up with something you hate, why not start something? This has two benefits, firstly if you started it, you will be more emotionally invested in it. Secondly, what looks more impressive on a CV or application form that being the founder of a club. It shows initiative and ability!

What words of wisdom would you give to other students considering which activities to participate in? Share them in the comments section below.

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2 Responses to “Chosing your Extra Curricular Activities”

  1. Great article. I find that people often say they don’t have any free time, but they fill a lot of time with watching tv, browsing the internet, etc. If we make a more conscious effort to dedicate our time only to things we care about, we’ll find there is plenty of time to do the things you want to do.

    (p.s. the title has a typo. “Choosing”)

  2. Naman says:

    Well, i am from India and going to the 12th grade. I used to do a lot of extracurriculars when i was young, now i am kindda off that. I am looking for admission to colleges abroad, like the USA or Canada. What activities can i do? For example, i am involved in the “buddy” concept, where i am helping out this guy who is not from the well-off sections of society.