Are Extracurricular Activities in College Important?

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Many high school students know how much emphasis is placed on extracurricular activities for college admissions, but some question the value of participating in college extracurricular activities. Students are tempted to focus solely on doing well in their school work and may consider participation in extracurricular activities a hindrance. This is especially true of students who are on scholarships and must meet certain academic requirements to keep their student loan debts to a minimum. However, students who join groups for extracurricular activities can improve their overall learning experiences and future careers depending on the activities chosen. Here are some examples of extracurricular activities that could be considered value added endeavors in the long-term.

Professional Organizations Related To Academic Majors

Industry recognized professional organizations serve as a link between academia and the real world for career oriented students. Most academic majors have associated professional organizations that can provide students, academics and practitioners with research based resources for a chosen profession, news about the career field’s emerging issues and opportunities to attend skill building workshops taught by well-known industry leaders. Although there are membership dues for professional organizations, many of these associations have student chapters that are free to those enrolled in school. The Society of Human Resource Management is an example of a professional organization that provides career resources and guidance to students through a student managed chapter.

Diversity Student Groups

The business world is getting increasingly smaller as industries consolidate and companies vie for market share within the global economy. This means that most of today’s students will encounter a diverse workforce at some point in their careers. Participating in a student club that promotes ethnic and national diversity enables students to become culturally aware. The global perspective gained by interacting with those of other cultures within a student group setting is distinctive because these activities often cultivate personal relationships and not strictly professional ones.

Student Government

Informed students who have aspirations to work within their communities as civil servants or politicians usually major in political science and then immediately start devoting some time in support of their university’s student government. Even those who decide on a less messy career than politics can greatly benefit from joining their school’s student government. The activities associated with this particular extracurricular program teaches students elements of strategic planning, organizing and creative problem solving. Also, students develop leadership skills when their peers elect them to serve as student government officers.

Intramural Athletics

Many students complain that they study so much that their health is often compromised by increased stress levels, poor diet and a lack of exercise. It is possible for these students to benefit from the physical activity and team camaraderie inherent in intramural sports. While the school’s cafeteria probably has enough variety to support healthier eating habits, its intramural sports teams present a hidden tonic for stress management and physical fitness. Student’s participation in intramural sports programs can be ways for them to relax and enjoy new friends.

College life is not all about hitting the books, and an easy way to create meaningful and healthy life events during this time period is through participation in extracurricular programs. College extracurricular activities help students learn new skills and make valuable career contacts which greatly enhance the college experience both personally and professionally.

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