Whether you’re a freshman just starting out or a senior making plans for college, there are many reasons to get involved in extracurricular activities, both in and out of school. Although it’s easiest to gravitate towards things that come easily to you, this is the time to try new things in order to give yourself experiences that will enable you to learn more about yourself. Activities outside the classroom give you the chance to figure out what you like doing and also give you the opportunity to gain new skills.
A great way to get started is to think about what you enjoy doing. If there is an activities fair at your school, be sure to attend. Go through the list of clubs and extracurriculars offered at your school and find the ones that sound fun. Also, challenge yourself and step out of your comfort zone and try something completely new. Maybe it’s even something you’ve had in the back of your mind to do.
If you’ve already found something you enjoy, now’s the time to build on it. Consider expanding your role by seeking out a leadership position. Do something in the summer that you can build on in the coming year and during the next summer as well. Commit to something and stick with it. Think about starting a new club to get others to join in an activity you’re interested in. Also, you can give back to your community by volunteering.
The more you try, the more you’ll find out about yourself. College admissions reps will be interested in understanding who you are as an individual beyond your academic accomplishments, what you really care about and how you’ve chosen to spend your time outside the classroom. You may find yourself in situations that help you develop leadership capabilities, gain confidence in public speaking and also learn teamwork.