Choosing the Right Extra Curriculas

I’m not going to rant and rave about how you need extra curricular activities, because we all know they’re important, and why. But because a lot of people just talk about their extra curricular activities, they do either two things: 1) try to fit in as many as they can, and become floaters in the group, or 2) they are so concerned about finding the right pick, they end up without any at all. Neither are ideal, so it’s important you understand what you need to look for in an extra curricular, and what sort of variety you should have.

I tend to split the extra-curricular activities in the following ways:

  • Academic
  • Community
  • Recreational / Creative
  • Leadership

With each item as important as the next.


You don’t have to be a top student to be involved in academic activities. For those that are, there are probably things like Science, Mathematics, Technology, and Gifted clubs that you could be involved in, or competitions that you can enter. By the way, just because competitions are a one-off thing, they are still extra curriculars, and if you do well, they can look great on college applications. If you don’t want to spend your lunchtimes learning more things, you could join a homework group, or study group, which shows you have the initiative to seek help when necessary, and can even give you a boost to that B or A grade you’ve been looking for.


Giving back to the community serves to purposes: it makes you feel great, and colleges love it. You might want to focus on your school, your local area, your state, your country, or, if you’re feeling really ambitious, the world. Some examples are volunteering for a charity, raising awareness and funds for an issue the area is facing, helping the disadvantaged or just organising a fundraiser every so often. You’d be surprised at how addicting helping others can be.

Recreational / Creative

Some people are sports people. Some people are creative. If you’re neither, now’s a great time to try. Having a little down time in your life is great, and recreational activities are the way to go. You might say that playing a game of soccer isn’t relaxing, but it sure is a great stress reliever. And who knows, you might be an undiscovered superstar! Being able to step back from school, while not the most obvious choice for impressing people, shows that you are willing to try new things, particularly if you’re extra curriculars list is plastered with Science awards and charity hours.


The great thing about this is that you can probably combine it with one of your groups. Leadership doesn’t always mean having the title of President or Captain. Often, it’s the unnoticed leadership that is the most important. However, if you’re a great leader, you’ll be elected anyway. You could try taking a more active role in your charity, or taking on the leadership of a younger group of students in an area you’re interested in, or becoming your school’s newspaper editor.

There you have it. I hope this will help you when you’re signing up to extra curriculars. Just bear in mind two things. Don’t do stuff you know you’re going to hate, but at the same time, keep trying new stuff. How does meditation sound? Or pottery?


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About Katie Walker

Hey, I'm a student. I'm into web development, so currently I'm working on my blog, a few Tumblr themes, and a few web apps for various purposes. It's exciting stuff.

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