School delivers the bulk of the knowledge, but there are certain activities that can contribute just as much to the development of students on their path to becoming well-rounded adults. Extracurricular activities accomplish just that. Aside from the real-world experience, these can be of great help deciding on a future career, or simply finding out about passions, affinities or dislikes. Whether it is volunteering at a church, hospital, helping out at community events, or working part-time to learn the value of money, before deciding on investing the time, do a bit of homework. Here are 5 tips on finding out what’s best for you.
1. Identify your passions
This is a task of perspective. Take a step back and think what excites you the most, what activities you usually jump at, what makes your eyes sparkle. If you find yourself reading, browsing for news, or taking quick images, you might enjoy experiencing a newsroom, and the thrill of being “on air.” If you’re always first to help others, love to figure out what’s wrong physically with those around you or self-diagnose, then a hospital would be a good idea. Either way, make sure you choose something that you like.
2. Understand what you’re good at
Now, having a passion sometimes does not equal excelling at it too. We might love singing but not have the best singing voice or love healing people, but the sight of blood prompts slight nausea. A good tip here is to simply ask those who know you. Lots of times we can be blind to our own flaws, especially when it comes to things we really love. Ask your parents, siblings or best friends and also be prepared to listen, and accept their feedback – whatever that might be.
3. Decide how much time you can dedicate
Maybe you have already figured out what you like, and that you can do it, but realize school is so challenging, and you are already involved with the French, Science and Drama Clubs. Knowing what you would like to try outside school is still a great thing. You might want to keep it in the back of your mind, and go for something with a lighter schedule, such as volunteering an hour or two at your local church. Managing your time wisely is very important for your stress level and peace of mind. Don’t bite more than you can chew.
4. Think of the skills that you would like to improve
Is there anything you want to become really good at? Or maybe you have noticed how you are too nervous around lots of people, so what better way to get used to heavy socializing than putting yourself out there? Extracurricular activities are a great opportunity to experience new things in a real-life setting.
5. Ask yourself, “What do I want to get out of this?”
Aside from the aforementioned skills, is there anything else you feel might benefit you? Do you get recognition from your school by putting in the hours in the community? Maybe your parents will nag you less if they see this sign of responsibility? Or, is it exciting to know that you can make a little extra money, if you decide on a part-time job? Make sure you have a clear understanding of the return on this investment; this can boost your motivation levels in order to make things happen!